Figures issued last week show that almost 15,000 people set 'quit dates' to give up smoking through new programmes developed by health action zones in England last year. But just 39 per cent of the 14,600 people who set dates had actually given up when they were followed up four weeks later. About 10,800 people setting a quit date were entitled to free prescriptions and free nicotine replacement therapy vouchers, and 9,300 people took these up.

Statistics on Smoking Cessation Services in Health Action Zones in England, April 1999 to March 2000 . www.doh.gov.uk