Nicotine Replacement Therapy

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered at on 21 May 2024.

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Photo of Rachael Maskell Rachael Maskell Labour/Co-operative, York Central

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if she will make an assessment of trends in the level of nicotine gum usage (a) across the whole population and (b) by young adults below the age of 18.

Photo of Andrea Leadsom Andrea Leadsom The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

When accompanied by behavioural support, nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) has proven to be effective for smoking cessation, including for adolescents, although to a lesser degree. Since 2008, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence recommends prescribing slow acting NRTs, such as patches and gum, for young smokers aged 12 to 17 years old, combined with behavioural support. Further information on the use of NRTs, which includes nicotine gum, in local NHS Stop Smoking Services is available at the following link:

https://digital.nhs.uk/data-and-information/publications/statistical/statistics-on-nhs-stop-smoking-services-in-england/april-2021-to-march-2022/part-3---stop-smoking-services.

In 2022/23, 360,619 NRTs were dispensed, a decrease from 2021/22, in which 374,169 NRTs were dispensed. The number of NRTs prescribed has been decreasing for a number of years, and is now less than a quarter of the total dispensed items in 2010/11, which was 1.5 million. However, the Department does not hold data on the level of nicotine gum usage specifically, for either adults or children.

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