• 6Apr

    Personalised letters and a ‘taster session’ help double attendance at NHS stop smoking services

    Attendance at NHS stop smoking services (SSS) almost doubled after smokers were sent letters showing their personalised risk of serious illness if they continued to smoke alongside invitations to try the service.

    Less than 5% of smokers attend these services in England and numbers are on the decline, although this is one of the most effective ways of stopping smoking.

    A personalised risk letter was sent to 2,636 smokers alongside an invitation to a local taster session. 17.4% attended, compared to 9.0% of 1,748 smokers who received a standard letter advertising the service. The letter and invitation to a taster session also increased the number who had quit smoking by six months (9% vs. 5.6%).

    This NIHR-funded trial tested whether giving people information about their personal risk of serious illness should they continue to smoke, and inviting them to a SSS taster session, would boost attendance at SSS.