A new service to help people quit smoking in the New Year is predicted to save Lincolnshire County Council around £750,000 per year.
Stop-smoking specialists Quit 51 have been commissioned by the county council to provide face-to-face clinics, group, telephone and online support from January 1.
The ‘Smokefree Lincolnshire’ service is available for anyone in the county who wants to quit by calling 0800 622 6968 or texting ‘smokefree’ to 66777.
Alternatively, referrals can be made through GP’s who may also prescribe nicotine replacement products to help smokers.
Councillor Patricia Bradwell, Executive Councillor for Public Health at Lincolnshire County Council, said: “This was the first opportunity we had to review what was an inherited NHS contract and we found the previous service was vastly under-used and didn’t represent value for money.
“The new service is more efficient and focuses on those most in need of additional and specialist support such as those with heart disease and pregnant women.
“Support is available to everyone else too, although we know many people are choosing to use e-cigarettes and cut down on smoking without the use of support services.
“The help offered is delivered in a variety of different and more modern ways, to fit round people’s lifestyles.
“All of our budgets are being looked at as we try and make more than £130 million of savings over the next four years and we have to make sure our providers deliver the best service at a cost we can afford.”
Emma Croghan, from Quit 51, added: “We’ve been providing these services in lots of areas of the country and are really pleased to be able to offer our support services in Lincolnshire too.
“We know that different people need help to quit in different ways so we offer a variety of support methods tailored to people’s needs.”