County Council to receive £1.9million grant to fund quit smoking services

Get help to quit smoking

A fund of £1.9million is set to come to Kent County Council (KCC) to pay for schemes to help residents who smoke kick the habit.

The cash injection from central government is the largest allocation to a local authority from Whitehall’s £70million ‘Stopping the start’ funding pot to help the UK become smokefree by 2030.

Under the grant arrangements, further annual funding to help Kent smokers quit will also follow from the Department of Health and Social Care for an additional four years, between 2025 and 2029.

Speaking at today’s (January 23) Health Reform and Public Health Cabinet Committee, KCC Public Health leaders hailed the extra help to target Kent’s and Britain’s biggest cause of preventable death.

Smoking rates continue to fall nationally and locally. Less than one-in-nine people (11.6%) now smoke in the county, compared to around one-in-five people (20.2%) in 2011.

But tobacco is still responsible for over 60,000 deaths in England per year. As well as increasing the risk of life-threatening health conditions such as dementia, Alzheimer’s, high blood pressure and respiratory disease, it is also the cause of 27% of all cancer fatalities.

Kent County Council Cabinet Member for Public Health, Dan Watkins, said: “Smoking remains the leading single cause of avoidable death, disease and disability and disproportionately affects our most vulnerable residents. It’s actually so harmful that 85% of smokers and ex-smokers regret ever picking up a cigarette in the first place and struggle to stop because of an addiction they don’t want.

“This additional money will significantly increase our funding available to tackle smoking – enabling us to increase services and support to help people quit. It’s a game-changing investment and will help save lives.”

KCC Director of Public Health, Dr Anjan Ghosh, added: “We’re excited to receive the biggest local authority grant and looking forward to working with our healthcare partners and others to bolster local services and interventions to help Kent’s remaining 167,000 residents who still smoke to stop.

“This includes rolling out a Swap-to-Stop scheme with Kent Community NHS Foundation Trust to help adult smokers switch from cigarettes to less toxic vapes. Vapes are a useful aid to help adult smokers quit but they are not risk free so if you don’t smoke, don’t vape.”

With smokers seeking professional help to quit three times more likely to stop than those who rely on willpower alone, anyone wanting to stub out cigarettes is encouraged to contact the free One You Kent smokefree service.

Find out more and fill out an easy self-referral form at or Text ‘QUIT’ to 87023, or call 0300 123 1220, to speak to a friendly adviser.

County Councillor Karen Constantine said: “The announcement of the smoking cessation program is very welcome. I’m sure it will assist a large number of people. However, today at the same meeting, at which I was present, a significant range of concerns were raised about the declining state of Thanet NHS. The lack of GP and dental appointments, midwife and GP shortages, the lack of support for people with mental health needs etc.  The growth of poverty – seemingly now unchecked – all too often leads inexorably to a spiral of ill health and declining life expectancy.

“Kent requires urgent investment into an array of vital NHS services. We do need a new hospital in Kent, the proposal to fund one at a cost of £460 million has not materialised. In order to improve faltering maternity services additional funding of £123 million needs to be found. NHS estates, which is everything from roofs to laptops also require funding of £300 to stand still.

“So far there is no sign of this much-needed funding.

“Residents were warned today that council tax will have to rise and they will be expected to pay for more and expect less.”



  1. thats an awful lot of money to spend on people with a bad habit , that could be better spent on people with a genuine illness

  2. thats an awful lot of money to spend on peoples bad habits , it would be better spent on people with genuine illness

    • Exactly. If people want to quit, they should wear patches or chew gum (or better still, not be so stupid to start in the first place).

    • Isn’t it better to spend a couple of million on helping people to quit smoking, rather than countless millions coping with the consequences of not doing so?

    • I don’t think you understand the nature of addiction. And nicotine is a very addictive drug.
      As Mark Twain once said: “Giving up smoking is easy. I’ve done it dozens of times.”

      • That is because,in reality,they do not want to give up.It is the same with obesity.Nicotine is highly addictive,as is processed food but,if you really want to kick it,you will.Lack of willpower and self discipline.Hence,the “nanny state” intervening,because”I’ve tried and I can’t do it.You have to help me”.

        • Doris, you really do need to brush up on a few peer reviewed studies into the mechanics and psychology of addiction. Cause at the moment, you’re embarrassing yourself with buzzword bingo.

          • To be addicted to something, one has to try them in the first place. We’ve known about the dangers of smoking for at least half a century, so anyone who starts smoking in the first place is just plain stupid.

  3. I agree with the idea of no smoking, but I also wonder how much tax the government will lose, and how much taxes will rise ?

  4. KCC cabinet member for Public Health,Dan Watkins said”Smoking remains the leading cause of unavoidable death…..”.This clown is saying that death by smoking is unavoidable!He is probably on an extortionate salary,but is such an expert on smoking,that he says it is an unavoidable death.Beggars belief!

  5. Isn’t it better to spend a couple of million helping people to quit this addiction than to spend many, many millions on the health consequences of not giving up?
    Nicotine is a very addictive drug. Once someone is hooked, it is *very* difficult to kick the habit.
    I know from personal experience!
    Glad I haven’t touch3d a ciggy for nigh on 40 years.

  6. The quote is now edited. It had been sent out with an error, the councillor means avoidable not unavoidable.

  7. In this mans army circa 1960, we were given a ration of 140 cigarettes a week duty free, when serving in BAOR (Germany) In other areas we could buy cigarettes for two shillings and sixpence (Half a Crown) for tins of 50! And they weren’t rubbish ones either, one brand was called Passing Cloud I remember! I finally managed to give up a pipe 25 years ago, and took up swimming instead, and cycling!

    • And how did you quit? With help from medical experts, or on your own by sheer willpower? I’m guessing the latter.

      • It was during a very bad Flu’ epidemic, and the hospitals were full, so I stuck it out for two weeks unable to breath properly. Once I made a recovery, I thought Oh well, I have gone 2 weeks without a smoke, see if I can do another week, then another week, and so on. It took about 3 months before I stopped even thinking about it, but the important thing was to keep busy. I had been swimming before for some years, but I stepped it up, and was soon doing a mile every other day, in and out of the pool inside an hour, including getting changed, and showing before and after! So keep busy folks, and exercise!

  8. No money in the kitty to support county and local councils, but can give money to aid people to stop smoking when all is really required is the will to stop and will power.

    • As they can’t even stop people from smoking cannabis resin on the street… no chance. It would as successful as their “Climate Emergency” declaration while cutting down trees and concreting over fields.

  9. Smoking will go the way of religion & fawning of the royals, as the older people who do it pass on. 1 billion people will of been wiped off the planet by Tobacco by 2100, but by then it should pretty much be extinct-even in the third world countries the vermin companies market to now.

    • Yet dope-smoking is rising, particularly with younger people (which is one of the reasons they drink less and the pubs are failing). At least normal cigarettes don’t make people lazy!

    • Smoking will diminish like communism and republicanism/Cromwellism, as the older generations fade away. Should still be banned though.

      • What about sift drugs? Presumably you believe more action should be made to eliminate those too. Trust me, dope is THE scurge of modern society.

        • Tobacco is the gateway to harder drugs. Search for people who use cannabis, cocaine, heroin, ketamine etc but have never smoked a cigarette in their life. I promise you, you won’t find many.

          • That’s a bit like saying a shandy leads to methylated spirits. I can assure you that my nan who smoked heavilly all her adult life was never tempted to try anything harder, just like I as a drinker all my life have never been tempted to have anything stronger than a very occasional rum & coke, and never ever drink more than 1 pint of beer. Some people are just losers.

  10. No one drinks meths any more, proper booze is so cheap nowadays there’s no point. I’m saying all drug abusers started out on tobacco. That’s not the same as saying all smokers end up on drugs.

    • And all morbidly obese people started off with just a nibble. While I’m not condoning smoking, my point stands that some people are just weak, the runt of the litter.

      • Banning it would be a great help for all these weak people. Cigarette usage costs the country a fortune because it; creates a particularly unpleasant kind of litter; causes fires; puts a strain on the NHS and is often a gateway to harder drugs.

        • No, because people would be buying it from the same people who supply cannabis (which causes considerable mental health problems), coke (a cause of the growing heart problems in the under ’50s), and other more harmful substances.

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