The number of people signing up to quit smoking in Sheffield has dropped by more than a third in a year.
In 2013/14, 3,946 men and women tried to kick the habit using the city’s stop smoking service – down from 6,536 in 2012/13, new figures have revealed.
Sheffield Council, which commissions the NHS to run the Yorkshire Smokefree Sheffield Service, believes the rising popularity of electronic cigarettes is one of the key reasons for the decline.
The success rate has remained stable, with around half quitting cigarettes for good over the last year.
The figures, from the Health and Social Care Information Centre, showed 1,967 people in Sheffield abstained from smoking for a month following their ‘quit date’ in 2013/14, with 3,477 reporting success the previous year.
More women than men tried to quit – last year 2,093 accessed the service, compared with 1,853 men. Almost 180 pregnant women signed up in the last 12 months, down from 215 the year before.
Coun Mazher Iqbal, the council’s cabinet member for communities and public health, said six weeks’ worth of extra telephone support was being offered to quitters in response to the fall in numbers.
“Helping people to quit smoking has always been a key priority and we understand how important it is to tackle smoking-related issues to help benefit people’s health and wellbeing,” said Coun Iqbal.
“We believe one of the reasons for the decline is the use of e-cigarettes among smokers to cut down or substitute their smoking.
“We are committed to working closely with our partners at the NHS to make sure we are doing all we can to help people to stop smoking altogether, in a way that fits in with their lifestyle.”
Nationally the number of quitters dropped 19 per cent in 2013/14.
n For advice on stopping smoking call 0800 6120011 or 0330 660116, or visit the Quit Stop on Charles Street in the city centre.