A report by a vaping company that puts Cambridgeshire in the higher echelons of expenditure on stop smoking services only tells part of the story, the county council has said.
According to research carried out by Vapourcore – that has a commercial interest in attracting smokers to use vape products - Cambridgeshire is the eighth highest spender on stop smoking services at £716,217.
“The cost per quitter is £887, of which there were 808 successful cases,” said Vapourcore.
But Cambridgeshire County Council (CCC) says the data presented is part way through the year and a full year's worth of data will not be ready until June “when we will have total costs and quitter figures to report”.
A spokesman said: “The reporting of smoking quitters is normally weighted towards the end of the year.
“This makes CCC the eighth highest expenditure in the stats presented, however the data is incomplete as 31 authorities have not yet submitted any data.”
The spokesman added: “In previous years Cambridgeshire County Council benchmarked lower, however this cost per quitter analysis has caveats as different local authorities interpret the criteria of costs differently which reflects in part the varying commissioning approaches.”
Val Thomas, consultant in public health at Cambridgeshire County Council, said: “In recent years we have seen a steady decrease in the proportion of people smoking across the county with the latest data showing the county rate dropping to 14.5 per cent.
“Although rates in Fenland remained higher and more challenging, there has been a considerable improvement in this area with the rate falling from 21 per cent to 16.3 per cent.”
She said: “We continue to work with partners and Cambridgeshire's Stop Smoking Service, CAMQUIT to improve and sustain our fall in smoking rates, ensuring that we create supportive environments for the prevention and treatment of smoking tobacco.
“There are multiple routes to quit smoking, including using e-cigarettes, which can be particularly effective when combined with extra evidence based quitting support that has a very good track record.
“For those who need help to stop smoking, Camquit offers specialist advice, support and encouragement to help people stop smoking for good, with Nicotine Replacement Therapy being available through an NHS prescription.
“Give them a call on 0800 018 4304 or to find out more visit www.camquit.nhs.uk.”
Vapourcore says the local authority of Hampshire spent the most on stop smoking services with £1,690,046, with the cost per individual quitter coming to £856.
The Isles of Scilly on the other hand spent a mere £586, with five people having reported to have successfully quit smoking at a cost of £117 per quitter.
South Tyneside had the highest cost per individual quitter, with £1,276 per the 517 self-reported quitters.