About this release

This release by Public Health Scotland (PHS) provides an annual update on statistics from NHS Stop Smoking Services in Scotland for the period April 2021 to March 2022, including trend data from 2010/11. It is supplemented by a Tableau dashboard and Excel workbook.

Main Points

  • In 2021/22, the number of attempts to stop smoking made with the help of NHS Stop Smoking Services fell for the tenth consecutive year to 31,359. This is a 0.9% reduction from 2020/21 and a 74.2% reduction from when the number of quit attempts were at their peak in 2011/12. The statistics being reported in this release correspond to the period when Scotland was facing the COVID-19 pandemic and should therefore be interpreted with caution.

Number of quit attempts made in NHS Stop Smoking Services, Scotland; 2010/11 - 2021/22

  • In 2021/22, of those making a quit attempt 44.6% (13,990) reported that they were still not smoking at four weeks. This figure fell to 28.7% (8,992) at twelve weeks.
  • Of the 13,990 self-reported four-week quits, 528 (3.8%) were validated as not smoking through carbon monoxide testing, 236 (1.7%) were confirmed as smoking, while for 13,226 (94.5%) had no carbon monoxide reading taken or the result was unknown. It should be noted that CO tests dropped markedly during the COVID-19 pandemic, which reflects the changes services made to adapt their protocols to make them COVID-19 safe.


The national smoking cessation database is designed to collect the national minimum dataset for smoking cessation services and is used by all 14 NHS Boards in Scotland. Information about service activity and outcomes from pharmacy services is recorded through the smoking cessation support tool available in the Pharmacy Care Record. This forms part of the minimum dataset, which is electronically submitted from Pharmacy Care Record to the national smoking cessation database.

Statistics are based on total ‘quit attempts’ made during the year, rather than total number of people with a quit attempt, so may include repeat quit attempts for the same person.

In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, NHS Boards in Scotland had to alter their service delivery. This may have affected the delivery of NHS Stop Smoking services. The number of quit attempts starting March 2020 is lower compared to the same month in the previous year. It is not possible to identify the extent that Covid-19 countermeasures may have contributed to this reduction.

Further information

Open data from this publication is available from the Scottish Health and Social Care Open Data platform.

The next release of this publication will be October 2023.

General enquiries

If you have an enquiry relating to this publication, please contact phs.smokingcessation@phs.scot.

Media enquiries

If you have a media enquiry relating to this publication, please contact the Communications and Engagement team.

Requesting other formats and reporting issues

If you require publications or documents in other formats, please email phs.otherformats@phs.scot.

To report any issues with a publication, please email phs.generalpublications@phs.scot.

Older versions of this publication

Versions of this publication released before 16 March 2020 may be found on the Data and Intelligence, Health Protection Scotland or Improving Health websites.

Last updated: 20 February 2023
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