Statistics on Smoking Cessation Services in NI: 1 April 2015 – 31 March 2016

Date published: 23 September 2016

The Department of Health has published statistics relating to smoking cessation services for 2015/16.

The information released provides information on people reporting to smoking cessation services throughout the north of Ireland during the year 2015/16.

Key Findings

Within the north of Ireland during 2015/16:

  • a total of 21,285 people set a quit date through the smoking cessation services. This is a decrease of 494 (2%) on the same period last year
  • of those setting a quit date, 1% were under 18 years of age, 33% were aged 18-34, 22% were aged 35-44, 28% were aged 45-59, and 15% were aged 60 and over
  • Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) was the most popular therapeutic intervention, with 74% of those who set a quit date having used this therapy
  • at the 4-week follow-up 12,475 reported that they had successfully quit, three-fifths (59%) of those setting a quit date
  • the 4-week success rate was 61% for males and 57% for females. Success at 4 weeks increased with age, from 41% for those aged 11 to 17, to 65% for those aged 60 and over
  • at the 4-week follow-up, a quarter of clients reported that they had not successfully quit. Of these, 59% had reduced their smoking intake and a further 33% indicated that they intend to rejoin the smoking cessation programme
  • of the 289 young people (aged 11 to 17) who set a quit date, 41% reported to have successfully quit at the 4-week follow-up, 40% indicated that they were still smoking, and 19% could not be contacted for the follow-up
  • of the 6,824 adults (aged 18 and above) in the 20% most deprived areas, three-fifths (58%) reported they had successfully quit at the 4-week follow-up
  • of the 1,270 women who were recorded as being pregnant, 57% reported to have successfully quit at the 4-week follow-up, 28% had not quit, and 14% were not able to be contacted


Notes to editors: 

1. This information is supplied to the Department of Health and the Public Health Agency by providers of smoking cessation services (e.g. pharmacist, GP, nurse).

2. Definitions relating to the statistics release are detailed below:

  • brief interventions by General Practitioners (GPs) and other health professionals. These will be provided in the normal course of the professional’s duties rather than comprising a ‘new’ service, and monitoring information about clients in receipt of such interventions is not therefore required centrally. Thus, this information is not captured in this bulletin
  • specialist smoking cessation services run by smoking cessation specialist(s) who have received training for this role. The service will be evidence based and offer intensive treatment, usually in the form of one-to-one or group support over the course of 5 to 6 weeks, including the use of Nicotine Replacement Therapy. Such a service may be situated in a major hospital or clinic, although it could be based in a community setting, have outreach clinics or operate on a peripatetic basis
  • Quit date. It is recognised that in certain cases some time may need to be spent with clients before they are ready to set a quit date. However, only actual quit attempts are counted for monitoring
  • Success. On the basis that the clinical viewpoint tends to be that a client should not be counted as a ‘failure’ if he/she has smoked in the difficult first days after the quit date, a client is counted as having successfully quit smoking if he/she has not smoked at all since two weeks after the quit date
  • Four-week and 52-week follow-up. All clients should be followed up at four weeks and those who self-report as having quit at this stage should be followed up again at 52 weeks

3. This publication is available online.

4. Additional information is available from:

Public Health Information and Research Branch
Information and Analysis Directorate
Department of Health
Annex 2
Castle Buildings
Belfast BT4 3SQ

Telephone:          028 9052 2607


5. For media enquiries please contact the DoH Information Office on 02890 520074, or out of hours contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 076 9971 5440 and your call will be returned. Follow us on Twitter @healthdpt


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