Cuts to public health budgets making it more difficult for smokers to quit in Burnley
Smokers in Burnley are getting less help to quit, as local authorities cut back on support services.
A new report reveals that support for smokers in the region to quit has fallen by 30% since 2014.
Spending per smoker has also fallen by 16%, from £17 per smoker in 2014 to £14.30 per smoker in 2017. The report says this cut is likely driven by a fall of 30% in public health budgets from central Government over the same period.
The report, from Action on Smoking and Health and Cancer Research UK has found that, nationally, 44% of local authorities no longer have a specialist stop smoking service open to all smokers in their area (56% continue to provide a universal specialist service with a further 9% targeting their specialist support to groups of smokers such as pregnant women and people with a mental health condition).
More than 100,000 smokers no longer have access to any local authority commissioned support to quit smoking across three per cent of local authorities that have cut all provision.
Kruti Shrotri, Cancer Prevention policy manager at Cancer Research UK, said: “The UK Government needs to reverse its cuts to public health budgets in England. Too many people still die from smoking, and we know that most smokers want to quit.
"Smokers in disadvantaged circumstances generally find quitting harder but are around three times more likely to quit successfully with the help of stop smoking services. We can’t deny those most in need of vital help that could save their life.”