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Users of NHS Stop Smoking services may halve, cancer patients need improved social care services, binge drinking peaks age 25

A round-up of the morning’s health news headlines

The number of people using NHS Stop Smoking services is likely to halve in the next year as a result of a lack of investment in NHS services and the increasing popularity of e-cigarettes, a University College London report has warned.

The Telegraph reports that if trends continue, users of NHS smoking services will fall to 400,000 this year, from 800,000 in 2011/12.

The report says ‘urgent attention’ must be given to dwindling use of services which have been proven effective; because despite uptake of ‘vaping’ with e-cigarettes rising, many users continue smoking alongside it.

Social care services for cancer patients must be urgently improved in order to support people living with the condition are not left to suffer ‘isolation’ and ‘indignity’, a Macmillan Cancer Support report has said.

The Guardian reports that an estimated 100,000 people with cancer in the UK are often left unable to wash themselves, dress or go to the toilet, and currently only one in five patients receive any formal support.

The chief executive of Macmillan Cancer Support, Lynda Thomas, said: ‘Today’s findings… show that people with cancer have needs which are far more widespread than we had even realised and that sadly the health and social care systems are too often failing to provide people with basic support.’

And finally, the Independent reports that binge drinking amongst men rises rapidly during teenage years – far out stripping increases in women – before peaking at age 25 as it becomes the ‘linchpin’ of their social lives.

Research shows that at its peak the average man’s drinking habits amount to 23 units every week, or nine pints of beer, and though this declines drinking levels plateau in men’s 30s and 40s with ‘very frequent’ drinking remaining more likely in older men than women.

Lead researcher Dr Annie Britton at University College London, said: “I wasn’t shocked to see that alcohol volume changes over the life course, but the high proportion of older men drinking daily is a bit alarming.

Readers' comments (1)

  • Smoking comes under Public Health at Councils behest and not the NHS, those penpushers have made Stop Smoking Services unviable in General Practice with the introduction of having to go to Tender. The service was only just worth claiming for if you signed up for it, with a tender and the conditions they require, its not worth thinking about for most practices.

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