Cookie policy notice

By continuing to use this site you agree to our cookies policy below:
Since 26 May 2011, the law now states that cookies on websites can ony be used with your specific consent. Cookies allow us to ensure that you enjoy the best browsing experience.

This site is intended for health professionals only

At the heart of general practice since 1960

Smoker chats work

Offering smoking cessation advice to all smokers in primary care is cost-effective even though every 10 hours of GP consultation time only results in two smokers quitting, according to an evaluation from NICE .

Offering smoking cessation advice to all smokers in primary care is cost-effective even though every 10 hours of GP consultation time only results in two smokers quitting, according to an evaluation from NICE .

New smoking cessation guidance advises that 'brief chats' with all smokers by GPs and other staff in primary care could increase the proportion of smokers trying to quit from 33 to 50 per cent, resulting in 150,000 new quitters a year.

The institute said the cost would be under £6,500 per QALY gained, with incremental costs per QALY gained ranging from £135 to £6,472.

The guideline recommends GPs take the opportunity to advise all patients who smoke to quit when they attend a consultation, and estimates the conversation would take around five to 10 minutes.

Those who want to stop should be offered a referral to an intensive support service. If they are unwilling or unable to accept this referral they should be offered pharmacotherapy in line with NICE technology appraisal guidance.

Dr Alex Bobak, a GPSI in smoking cessation in Wands-worth, south London, said: 'It's very do-able, it can be done for each patient in 30 seconds by using three simple questions which fulfil the QOF requirements.

'I think we should be mentioning it at least once a year. Our job is not to bully patients into stopping smoking, it's to help them with support and treatment when they are ready to stop.'

Rate this article 

Click to rate

  • 1 star out of 5
  • 2 stars out of 5
  • 3 stars out of 5
  • 4 stars out of 5
  • 5 stars out of 5

0 out of 5 stars

Have your say