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Data on ICBs tackling smoking dependence released

Data on ICBs tackling smoking dependence released
By Jess Hacker
7 September 2023

More than 400,000 prescription items to treat smoking dependence were dispensed in England between April 2022 and March 2023, new data has shown.

This included more than 360,600 prescriptions presccribed in primary care and dispensed for nicotine replacement therapies.

Earlier this year, the Government announced ICBs would be leading the smoking prevention agenda.

According to the data, published by NHS England, the ICBs with the greatest amount of all prescription items to treat smoking dependence were:

  • Greater Manchester ICB, 48,728
  • West Yorkshire ICB, 27,674
  • North Central London ICB, 25,190
  • Cheshire and Merseyside ICB, 23,052
  • Devon ICB, 20,954

Greater Manchester ICB has the greatest projected population (3,146,943), with Cheshire and Merseyside (2,714,167) and West Yorkshire (2,617,433) similarly high.

North Central London (1,734,061) and Devon (1,273,431) have more middling projected population.

These five ICBs also had the greatest number of prescription items for nicotine replacement therapy.

  • Greater Manchester ICB, 46,134
  • West Yorkshire ICB, 25,700
  • North Central London ICB, 22,343
  • Devon ICB, 20,036
  • Cheshire and Merseyside ICB, 18,992

In June, an Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) survey of employees at 29 ICBs found that tobacco control was perceived to be ‘an above average or high priority’ in 14 systems.

But nearly a third (31%) of survey respondents were not confident that tobacco dependence treatment services would be fully implemented in their ICB’s acute and mental health hospitals by March 2024.

And of the 32 publicly available integrated care strategies, only 15 included goals or ambitions focussed specifically on smoking, of which only four had defined outcome targets, ASH also found.

The smoking prevention drive falls in line with Patricia Hewitt’s ICS review, published earlier this year which set out that the systems should be assessed on their prevention work.

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