Manual workers in the Fens need help to stop smoking, report says
- Credit: PA
Fenland faces a challenge getting people to quit smoking, a report has revealed, that shows more than a third of manual workers are addicted to nicotine.
Just under a third of long term unemployed and carers in the Fens are also heavy smokers which has prompted the report looking at encouraging people to give up to save the NHS billions every year in health costs.
The cost of a harm reduction programme for one smoker is around £662, according to the report by Val Thomas, public health consultant at Cambridgeshire County Council, who wants money set aside in the budget to encourage smokers to reduce the habit or quit.
“Harm reduction approaches are targeted at those smokers that require an alternative approach and are used with smokers who may be unwilling or unable to stop in one step,” she said.
“Harm reduction involves a cut down to quit pathway.
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“This involves following a structured programme of curing with nicotine replacement treatment over a relatively short time period of six or twelve weeks leading up to a quit date.”
The number of manual workers who smoke in the Fens is higher than the national average, the report says which suggests many are not using the services because of a reluctance to adopt the abrupt stop smoking approach.
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A slower stop method could attract smokers to make a quit attempt and increase their success rate, Ms Thoams said.
Her report shows that the cost of a slower quit programme would cost around £60,290 and will be discussed at a meeting of the county’s health committee tomorrow (Thursday 8).