Smoking Cessation

The evidence for Smoking Cessation services shows that it is the most cost-effective life-saving intervention provided by the NHS. Research has been carried out to estimate the carbon footprint of behavioural support services for smoking cessation including text message support, telephone counselling, group counselling and individual counselling. The data was obtained from publicly available data on National Health Service Stop Smoking Services and per unit carbon emissions; published effectiveness data from the txt2stop trial and systematic reviews of smoking cessation services. Data for the MACC calculation assumed that smoking cessation services targeted an additional 800 quitters over 5 years using text to quit services by offering services to 51,000 people.


Case study sources

The Case for Change: Why dedicated, comprehensive and sustainable stop smoking services are necessary for hospitals

The carbon footprint of behavioural support services for smoking cessation

The economics of tobacco


Financial Calculations


ASH (Action on Smoking and Health) estimates the cost to the NHS and Public Health of £310 per person annually. By targeting an additional 200 quitters per year for 5 years, a financial saving of approximately £250,000 would be achieved from the 5th year onwards.


The cost per lift time quitter was estimated at £1200; this was scaled up to provide an annual cost of approximately £200,000 for 800 quitters over 5 years.


Carbon Calculations

The NHS carbon intensity conversion of 0.17 kg/£ was used to calculate carbon saving based on the financial savings, giving approximately 50 kgCO2 per person. This gave a carbon saving of approximately 40,000 by the 5th year of implementation.

Additional  Benefits

Impacts from smoking disproportionately affect disadvantaged sections of society. Poor health related to smoking limits the opportunity for economic activity which in turn increases reliance on social care. Health equality, child poverty and social mobility are all improved with reduced rates of smoking.   

House fires caused by smoking result in the most deaths compared to any type of fire and result in an average of 1000 serious dwelling fires per year in london alone.


To scale at the individual organisation level, values per person for each financial savings and costs and carbon savings were used.