Research has shown that NHS stop-smoking clinics work, with figures highlighting particular progress in deprived areas.

The study, carried out by a research team at Bath University, found that 8.8 per cent of smokers in poorer areas had quit at the four-week mark, compared with 7.8 per cent elsewhere.

Smoking cessation clinics, offering counselling and treatment in the form of nicotine replacement therapy, were set up in the NHS in 1999.

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