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The recent introduction of the Tobacco Advertising and Promotion Bill1 follows a whole range of strategies and subsequent interventions aimed at reducing levels of smoking in the UK. In particular, Smoking kills: a white paper on tobacco2 has resulted in national investments to develop smoking cessation services both in primary care and through specialist services elsewhere. National guidance on providing such services recommended developing them to meet the needs of local populations and consequently smoking cessation services within each health authority have adopted different delivery models.
Although smoking is an important threat to health across all demographics, it disproportionately affects the most deprived3 and contributes to the gap in life expectancy between those most in need and those most advantaged more than any other identifiable factor. Thus, while the proportion of smokers in more advantaged groups is estimated at 15% for males and 13% for females in the most deprived groups levels are 39% and 34% respectively.4 Recognising these disparities, …
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