RPS called for the government and NHS to bolster up public health funding “to ensure that everyone across the whole of England can get access to smoking cessation services

Marking ‘No Smoking Day’ today, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) has called for a reversal of the decommissioned smoking cessation services in community pharmacies.

RPS said ‘No Smoking Day’ was an opportunity for pharmacies to highlight the roles they could play in helping people quit smoking, including medicine therapies and guidance.

According to NHS Digital data from 2018, there is a decline in the number of people smoking. The number of adults still smoking is 14.4 per cent, which is above the national ambition of 12 per cent or less.

Claire Anderson, Chair of the RPS English Pharmacy Board, said: “Encouraging more people to quit smoking is one of the most important interventions that we can make to improve public health. Pharmacists and pharmacy teams are well placed to offer first point of contact help to people who want to quit but need to be fully supported to provide these services.”

The RPS called for the government and NHS to bolster up public health funding “to ensure” everyone in the country could get access to such services which would help them quit through community pharmacies.

“It is good to see smoking cessation referral pilots from secondary to primary care in the Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework funding update. However, continued cuts to public health funding means that pharmacies are no longer being commissioned to provide free and accessible stop smoking services to their local communities,” Anderson added.

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