West Berkshire Council

Start date: 2015-11-03
End date: 2015-12-14
Results: 2016-03-03

[ARCHIVED] Budget Proposal 2016/17 - Phase One: Smoking Cessation Service - 'Smoke Free Life'

Part of the range of West Berkshire Council's budget proposals for 2016/17, with supporting information and Equality Impact Assessments

If you haven't already seen our video explaining why these changes are being proposed, please visit our Budget Proposals 2016/17 webpage.


Smoking is the main cause of preventable illness and premature death in England. It is also the largest cause of inequality in death rates between the rich and the poor.

Research shows that people in certain occupations, those with low level of educational attainment and those part of disadvantaged social groups, are two to three more times likely to die from smoking.

Smoking prevalence in England is 18% compared to 15.4% in West Berkshire. This suggests that over 23,800 people aged over 18 in West Berkshire smoke. 

The provision of Smoking Cessation services is a statutory duty and to achieve 'best value', it was agreed that the service should be provided on a Berkshire wide basis.

The Smoking Cessation services provide a range of support pharmacology and behavioural support. The local Stop Smoking service based across Berkshire offers 1-2-1 support with fully trained advisors within the community. The current contribution made by the council to this service is £311,000 annually.


The proposal is to reduce the annual contribution by £32,000.

What do we think the impact will be?

This programme is a well established service across Berkshire. Over the last four years, the estimated prevalence of smokers in West Berkshire has reduced. A number of factors have contributed to this reduction including the number of smokers who have chosen to switch to vaping together with an increase in local advertisement campaigns.

'Smoke Free Life' is a programme which is supported locally which will ensure that services are accessible to all groups. It is not therefore considered that this reduction in budget will impact on service provision.

What else have we considered in arriving at our proposal?

The current providers of this service continue to contribute to keeping the prevalence of smoking in West Berkshire below the England average. Given the reduction in numbers of people smoking and the intention to continue to raise awareness of the benefits of quitting smoking it is not considered that this reduction will impact on those people who need to access the service.

This consultation is closed.

What you told us

We received 5 responses to this consultation.

We have condensed all your comments into the 'Summary of Responses' and everything you said, word for word, is contained in 'Verbatim Responses'.

These can be found in 'Documents' below.

What we did

A recommendation on how to proceed with this proposal was made to the Executive Members on 11 February 2016.

This can also be found below in 'Overview and Recommendation'.

Following this, at the Full Council Meeting on 1 March 2016, all Members discussed this proposal as part of setting the Revenue Budget for 2016/17.

At the vote, the budget was agreed with the suggested amendments.

It was agreed to proceed with this proposal.

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