Knowsley has topped the North West’s smoking quit rate league, thanks to the borough’s innovative approach to smoking cessation services.

Figures released in September show that 2,048 residents successfully quit smoking through free NHS stop smoking services run by Knowsley Health & Wellbeing, putting the borough in the top three most successful PCTs nationally in the smoking quit rate tables and number one in the North West.

Knowsley has a higher than average smoking rate with an estimated 48,640 smokers or 32 per cent of the population.  However the latest figures demonstrate how Knowsley Health & Wellbeing’s forward-thinking insight work and engagement with local residents has helped reduce the smoking rate (calculated per 100,000 of the population). 

Understanding residents

Knowsley’s success comes following a range of campaigns which have involved understanding local residents’ needs to shape programmes which help people quit smoking for good.

One smoking cessation campaign, What Sort Of Quitter Are You, was created following consultation with local smokers and has already proved to be a success.

Knowsley Health & Wellbeing engaged with more than 40 residents to understand their needs and develop a programme that would provide smokers with a choice of free services to access.  A tailored outreach campaign was developed which included an interactive website complete with a quit quiz, direct engagement via text messages, phone and post, plus a week-long roadshow complete with support from smoking cessation advisors. 

In the first week alone, 366 participants signed up to service , 19 per cent of Knowsley’s annual quit target and this month the roadshow will tour the borough again to help drive down smoking rates further in Knowsley.

Sue Drew, director of public health for Knowsley said: “The development of the What Sort Of Quitter Are You campaign is a great example of how we understand the specific needs of residents so that our services have a genuine impact on changing behaviour.

“By developing the campaign with different audiences and a range of communications channels, we ensure we are reaching all our target audience and that it is relevant at any stage of their quit journey.”

“These latest smoking quit figures make positive reading and we are delighted with the initial success, however there is still much more work to do to drive down smoking in Knowsley and we are looking forward to seeing how the next campaign will have an impact,” she said.

For more information about the What Sort Of Quitter Are You road shows please visit www.takesallsorts.co.uk.