‘Completely counter productive' says RCM on cuts to local smoking cessation services
A new study published today by ASH has shown the extent at which local services have had to cut their stop smoking budgets.
In 2016 budgets were cut in all local authority areas where smoking cessation was a low priority.
The study is based on online surveys of local tobacco control leads in 2014, 2015 and 2016. The surveys found an increasing number of authorities making cuts to stop smoking budgets, from 16% of services being cut in 2014, rising to 39 % in 2015 and 59% in 2016.
Responding to the survey results, Sean O’ Sullivan, Head of Health and Social Policy at The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) says; “It’s most disappointing to see how much funding has been cut from local authority budgets for smoking cessation, particularly given the Governments current policy on this.”
“Access to local stop smoking support services within the community are vital for pregnant as smoking during pregnancy still remains a risk factor for stillbirths.
If we are serious about reducing the negative consequences of smoking in pregnancy, smoking cessation services should be increased, not reduced.
“Midwives and other healthcare professionals will find it increasingly difficult to encourage and support women to stop smoking if the smoking cessation services they need to refer them to are no longer there.”
Action on Smoking and Health is a health charity working to eliminate the harm caused by tobacco use. For more information see: www.ash.org.uk/about-ash
For more information on this study contact ASH on 020 7404 0242