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Mr. Bradshaw: The Department employs two overseas visitors officers. Their responsibilities involve the administration and management of visits from overseas to the Department, national health service and related bodies. They also develop links and partnerships with overseas ministries, foreign health industry and trade bodies along with United Kingdom organisations with international health interests. They are supervised by a third officer with a wider remit.
It is the responsibility of primary care trusts (PCTs) to commission services for people with pain, taking into account resources they have available, the needs of their wider population and available guidance on best practice. The quality of services should be monitored locally to ensure it is provided to meet the needs of the local population. The Department is supporting commissioning through the recent publication of an 18-week pathway
for the management and treatment of chronic pain. NHS Choices has also provided information that will raise the awareness of chronic pain and treatments.
As part of the NHS Next Stage review lead by Lord Darzi, working groups of local clinicians in each strategic health authority have carried out a detailed review of clinical pathways across all areas of health care, and have identified what they believe to be the best models of care for local patients. The results have now been published and PCTs will now be responsible for working out in discussion with local partners, patients and the general public how best to commission the proposed improvements.
Anne Milton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to alter the best practice guidance to primary care trusts on the funding of drug treatments in the absence of guidance from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence. 
Dawn Primarolo: In Good Practice Guidance on Managing the Introduction of New Healthcare Interventions and Links to National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) Technology Appraisal Guidance, published in December 2006 (copies of which have been placed in the Library), on medicines where no NICE guidance exists, the Department gave a commitment to undertake a review. We are planning to review and extend this guidance in 2009 and we will consult on draft guidance as part of this process.
Mark Pritchard: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will include within the review of his Departments sexual health and HIV strategy consideration of the findings of the study commissioned by his Department on the economics of family planning and underage conceptions by Professor David Patton. 
Dawn Primarolo: The review of the 2001 National Strategy for Sexual Health and HIV is being undertaken by the Sexual Health Independent Advisory Group (SHIAG). This is an independent review and it is for SHIAG to consider what evidence and studies they include in the Review.
Dawn Primarolo: Although smoking prevalence has declined in the North West over the past decade, it is still above the all-England average. The number of deaths from smoking among people aged 35 and over is also higher in the North West than the all-England average.
A £1.8 million programme to reduce smoking rates in the North West is now being implemented. Current activity includes supporting national smoke free campaigns,
making NHS Stop Smoking Services widely available, and partnership action to reducing the appeal and availability of illicit tobacco.
National action on reducing smoking prevalence over the past decade is set out in the Consultation on the future of tobacco control, published in May 2008. Copies of the Consultation have already been placed in the Library.
The Government have undertaken to develop a new National Tobacco Control Strategy to further reduce smoking rates in the future. The current consultation will inform the development of the strategy, and includes questions on protecting children and young people from smoking, and on helping smokers to quit.
Sir Peter Soulsby: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he has taken to reduce smoking rates in the (a) adult and (b) child population in each of the last five years, broken down by (i) socio-economic and (ii) ethnic group; what steps he plans to take further to reduce smoking rates; what funding his Department has allocated to the reduction of smoking rates in each of the last five years; what funding he intends to allocate over the current comprehensive spending review period; and if he will make a statement. 
Dawn Primarolo: In England, tobacco control activity has been guided by the Departments six-strand strategy, based on international evidence that a co-ordinated and multi-faceted response is required to effectively tackle tobacco use.
National action on reducing smoking prevalence over the past decade is set out in the Consultation on the future of tobacco control, published in May 2008 (copies of which have already been placed in the Library), and in the Departments annual reports over the period.
The Government have undertaken to develop a new national tobacco control strategy to further reduce smoking rates in the future. The current consultation will inform the development of the strategy, and includes questions on protecting children and young people from smoking, and on helping smokers to quit.
NHS Stop Smoking Services continue to provide vital support to smokers to quit. Local national health service bodies provide quit support that is tailored to the needs of local communities. A range of guidance has been published on the provision of smoking cessation services by the Department and the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE). In May, Communities and Local Government published Working with Black and Minority Ethnic Communities: A guide for Stop Smoking Service managers.
Smokers can also quit with free support from the NHS Smoking Helpline and Together programme which provide information, advice and motivation by telephone, e-mail, post or by text message at key moments during the smokers quitting process. The NHS Pregnancy Smoking Helpline and the Asian Tobacco Helpline are also in operation.
|Expenditure on education campaigns financial year||Tobacco control (£ million)|
The Department awarded a grant of £2.67 million to Cancer Research UK (CRUK) under section 64 of the Health Services and Public Health Act 1968 to fund the charitys Light and Mild campaign in 2003-04. A further grant of £3 million grant was made in 2006-07 for CRUKs media campaign on the harmful constituents of second-hand smoke.
The Department awarded a grant of £5 million to British Heart Foundation (BHF) under section 64 of the Health Services and Public Health Act 1968 to fund the charitys media campaign in 2004-05 on heart disease caused by smoking. A further grant of £4 million was made in 2005-06 to BHF for a media campaign highlighting the dangers of smoking and heart disease.
|Financial year||Financial allocations to the national health service for stop smoking services (£ million)|
|Financial year||Grants (£)|
|Financial year||Grants (£)|
The Departments grants to QUIT (an organisation that provides support to smokers who want to quit smoking) under section 64 of the Health Services and Public Health Act 1968 are set out in the following table.
|Financial year||Grants (£)|
Mr. Evennett: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the number of people who have ceased smoking in the London Borough of Bexley since the introduction of the smoking ban. 
Dawn Primarolo: Information is collected quarterly at primary care trust level on people accessing the NHS Stop Smoking Services who set a quit date and those who successfully quit smoking at the four-week follow up. However, information is not available about people who have ceased smoking independently.
The smoke-free law was introduced in England on 1 July 2007, and the latest data available are for quarter three of 2007-08. The following table shows the number of people in Bexley care trust area accessing the NHS Stop Smoking Services who set a quit date and those who successfully quit smoking at the four-week follow up, for quarter two and quarter three of 2007-08 and the total for July 2007 to December 2007.
|Number of people setting a quit date and number of successful quitters in Bexley care trust in 2007-08|
|Period||Number setting a quit date||Number of successful quitters|
| Notes: 1. A client is counted as having successfully quit smoking if he/she has not smoked at all since two weeks after the quit date. The four-week follow-up (based on self report) must be completed within six weeks of the quit date. Persons not contacted within this time are treated as lost to follow-up for evaluation purposes. 2. Figures published in Statistics on NHS Stop Smoking Services in England, July to December 2007 (quarter two and three bulletin) are provisional. Provisional results from the Stop Smoking Services are published on a quarterly basis. An annual bulletin will be published in August 2008 that represents finalised figures for the year April 2007 to March 2008. Source: The Information Centre for health and social care: Lifestyle Statistics, Statistics on NHS Stop Smoking Services in England.|
David Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the estimated smoking prevalence rates were amongst (a) 11 to 15, (b) 16 to 19 and (c) 20 to 24 year-olds in each year since 1998; and if he will make a statement on the trends. 
Dawn Primarolo [holding answer 14 July 2008]: Smoking prevalence rates among 11 to 15, 16 to 19 and 20 to 24 year-olds in each year since 1998 are set out in the following table. There has been a decrease in prevalence of cigarette smoking among all three age groups since 1998, particularly among those aged 16 or over.
|Prevalence of cigarette smoking by age band, England|
|(1) Smoking, drinking and drug use among young people in England 2006, Information Centre for health and social care.|
(2) General Household Survey 2006, Office for National Statistics.
Data are not available for 1999.
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