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New specialist smoke free service

A new specialist smoke free service for individuals with mental health problems or during pregnancy, has been launched.

Commissioned by the council, Ealing Community Partners will deliver the service to directly address the high prevalence of smoking and its detrimental impact on life expectancy.

Councillor Josh Blacker, cabinet member for healthy lives at Ealing Council, attended the launch event on Tuesday 18 July, and said: “We’re dedicated to addressing health disparities throughout the borough. Smoking remains the leading cause of preventable illness and premature death in Ealing. Introducing a service that directly alleviates these inequalities for individuals with mental health problems or during pregnancy is truly fantastic.”

The release of the Ealing Data for 2021/2022, sourced from the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities, emphasises the urgency of targeted interventions. Among the key findings, smoking prevalence in Ealing is alarmingly high, with 27.4% of adults with long-term health conditions, 75.4% of people admitted for substance misuse treatment, and 10.3% of the general population identified as smokers.

The newly launched smoke free service is exclusively available to individuals aged 18 and over, living in Ealing, and registered with an Ealing GP practice. Eligible participants must currently smoke cigarettes and meet specific criteria, including having a mental health diagnosis or experiencing mental health symptoms, or being pregnant.

Referrals to the service can be made through the website or via local GPs. The service offers one-on-one appointments with tobacco dependence specialists, providing flexible scheduling options from Monday to Friday to accommodate patients’ needs and preferences.

Sessions can be conducted face-to-face or remotely. Each appointment lasts approximately 30 minutes on a weekly basis, with the initial session extending to roughly 45 minutes. Over a 12-week period, participants will receive behavioural support to assist in quitting smoking or reducing tobacco consumption. The service is also e-cigarette friendly, acknowledging the potential benefits of alternative nicotine delivery methods.

Dr Claire Dillon, director of integrated community health services at Ealing Community Partners, said: “We are delighted to be launching this much-needed service. We look forward to working with our expert team to reduce or eliminate smoking among the targeted groups and to support people to lead happier and healthier lives.”

Ealing Community Partners, in collaboration with local healthcare professionals, aims to create a smoke-free future and improve the overall well-being of the community.

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