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Why does it cost taxpayers £55K per successful quitter in Hammersmith & Fulham?

Harry Phibbs, over at ConservativeHome, revealed yesterday that is costs around £55K to get someone to quit smoking in Hammersmith and Fulham. You read that correctly. Harry is a councillor there. Here's what he found out:

"Thrive Tribe is given £1.19 million from my Council’s Public Health budget “for the provision of a stop smoking (quits and prevention) service”. The contract was from 01/01/2014 – 31/12/2017.

"So how many have quit?

"It depends what you mean by “quit” of course. But in 2016/17 those in my borough who said they had stopped smoking for at least 12 week came to 21 residents. How many would have given up smoking anyway? How many have since started up again? How many hadn’t really given up even for the 12 weeks but didn’t like to admit it? So the figure of 21 might be an exaggeration. On the other hand no figures seem to be available for the previous two years. Nor for those who have quit since April this year. So on that basis the tally may well be higher than 21.

"Anyway let’s assume that it is 21 of my fellow Hammersmith and Fulham residents who have permanently quit smoking and who would not otherwise have done so. The cost works out at £55,571 each."

What they could do, of course, if give each person who wants to quit an e-cigarette starter kit and then monitor them in a few weeks. I bet the results would be better than 21. And it would save local taxpayers a fortune. 

As Harry said, "Even in the very stiff competition provided in the public sector that is staggeringly poor value for money."


Photo Credit: TBEC Review Follow

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