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Opinions of women from deprived communities on the NHS stop smoking service in England - person-centered perspectives.

Anjum Memon, John Barber, Emma Rumsby, Samantha Parker, Lisa Mohebati, Richard de Visser, Susan Venables, Anna Fairhurst, Kate Lawson, Josefin Sundin



In most European countries, women are relatively more susceptible to smoking-related diseases, find it more difficult to quit and more likely to relapse than men. With the aim to improve understanding of women’s needs from smoking cessation services, this qualitative study examines perceptions of women from deprived communities on the National Health Service Stop Smoking Service in England.


A qualitative study of 11 women, smokers and ex-smokers, who had used Stop Smoking Services located in disadvantaged communities in East Sussex, England. Data were collected through focus group and semi-structured interviews, and were subjected to thematic analysis.


Women felt that services tailored to their needs would improve cessation rates. They expect smoking cessation facilitators to be non-judgemental and to offer psychological insight into addiction. However, women’s opinions differed on the importance for facilitators to be female or ex-smokers, and on the preference of group or one-to-one services, some women expressed a preference for women only groups. The women praised the continuity of care, capacity for peer support, flexibility of time and location and free cessation aids offered. Conversely, the women felt that services were poorly advertised, that access was not universally good, and that services at work place and drop-in groups would improve access for working women and women with young children.


Flexible services that are tailored towards the needs of individual smokers and better dissemination of information regarding the range of services available could facilitate greater uptake of smoking cessation services for women in deprived communities.

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