The tobacco epidemic is one of the biggest public health threats the world has ever faced, killing nearly six million people a year. More than five million of those deaths are the result of direct tobacco use while more than 600 000 are the result of non-smokers being exposed to second-hand smoke. Approximately one person dies every six seconds due to tobacco, accounting for one in 10 adult deaths. Up to half of current users will eventually die of a tobacco-related disease.
Nearly 80% of the more than one billion smokers worldwide live in low- and middle-income countries, where the burden of tobacco-related illness and death is heaviest.
Tobacco users who die prematurely deprive their families of income, raise the cost of health care and hinder economic development. (WHO, 2015)
Smoking continues to be the single greatest cause of avoidable mortality in Wales. In people aged 35 and over, smoking causes nearly 1 in 5 of all deaths and around one third of the inequality in mortality between the most and least deprived areas. ( Tobacco & Health in Wales 2012, Public Health Wales Observatory.)
Smoking remains the single largest cause of preventable ill health in Wales, and a significant cause of health inequity. Despite considerable progress in reducing the prevalence of smoking data from the Welsh Health Survey2015 show there are still around 490,000 adult smokers in Wales. The survey also shows that over 2 in 3 smokers want to stop and approximately 40% of smokers actively try to quit each year.
The Welsh Government has set an ambitious annual target to treat 5% of the smoking population through NHS stop smoking services and to reduce adult smoking rates to 16% by 2020. In order to help achieve these targets, the Welsh Government’s Tobacco Control Strategic Board’s Smoking Cessation Sub-group is leading on the development of an integrated system for all NHS stop smoking services across Wales. The first step towards this was the launch Help Me Quit in April 2017.
Help Me Quit
Help Me Quit is:
- a single brand for NHS stop smoking services in Wales
- a bilingual website with information on all NHS stop smoking services in Wales
- a contact centre team that provides smokers with access to all NHS stop smoking services including community pharmacy, Stop Smoking Wales and hospital based services.
- making it easier for smokers to choose the best NHS stop smoking support for them in their local area
- the best choice a smoker can make to quit smoking.
Visit the Help Me Quit website for further information: https://mecc.publichealthnetwork.cymru/en/resources/lifestyle-info/smoking/
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