Reducing health inequalities in England: does the demise of NHS Stop Smoking Services matter? Analysis of mandatory monitoring data

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Authors

Colleges, School and Institutes

Abstract

Background: Tobacco smoking is a key cause of mortality, morbidity and health inequalities. The unprecedented English health inequalities strategy (1999-2010) sought to reduce health inequalities, by, in part, instigating NHS Stop Smoking Services (SSS), initially targeted in deprived ‘Spearhead’ localities. Performance of SSS is assessed here in light of its role supporting the strategy, which evidence suggests achieved a reduction in health inequalities.

Methods: SSS enrolment and four-week quits in Spearhead and non-Spearhead localities were compared during and after the strategy period, using regression models and routine monitoring data. Changes in SSS expenditure were estimated.

Results: After similar increases in enrolment and quits between Spearhead and other localities between 2003/4 and 2008/9, SSS in Spearhead localities experienced a twofold better rate of improvement in enrolment and quit performance over the four years to 2011/12. Since 2011/12, SSS have dramatically reduced, and expenditure had fallen by half in Spearhead localities by 2016/17.

Conclusions: SSS, particularly in Spearhead localities, were expanded up to 2011/12, and this broadly coincides with the reduction in health inequalities. This suggests that although SSS did not achieve the scale anticipated, they have important potential, and the current demise of SSS should not be tolerated.

Bibliographic note

Hugh McLeod; Reducing health inequalities in England: does the demise of NHS Stop Smoking Services matter? Analysis of mandatory monitoring data, Journal of Public Health, , fdy208, https://doi.org/10.1093/pubmed/fdy208

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Public Health
Early online date14 Nov 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 14 Nov 2018

Keywords

  • health economics, health policy, health inequalities, smoking cessation