About this release

This release by Public Health Scotland (PHS) presents information on NHS Stop Smoking Services in Scotland and their progress towards their Local Delivery Plan (LDP) Standard. There was no LDP Standard for NHS Scotland in 2020/21, therefore for the purpose of this report, the 2019/20 standard has been used. That standard was to achieve at least 7,026 self-reported successful twelve-week quits (those people still not smoking after 12 weeks) through smoking cessation services in the most deprived areas. Deprived areas are defined as the 40% (60% in NHS Island Boards) most deprived NHS Board areas (datazones).

Data are presented in the form of a dashboard and Excel workbook, which include trend data from 2014/15.

Main Points

Financial year 2020/21

  • In the financial year 2020/21, NHS Scotland achieved 85% (5,962 out of 7,026) of the required annual LDP Standard.
  • Three out of fourteen NHS Boards met or exceeded their annual LDP Standard during the financial year 2020/21. NHS Board performance against their annual LDP Standard ranged from 42% to 153%.
Image caption Scotland and NHS Board performance against the LDP Standard at quarter 4, 2020/21
Scotland and NHS Board performance against the LDP Standard at quarter 4, 2020/21

Horizontal bar chart showing Scotland and all fourteen Health Boards.

During Quarter 4 (January to March 2021)

  • In quarter four of 2020/21, NHS Scotland achieved 26% (1,819 out of 7,026 self-reported twelve-week quits) of the required annual LDP Standard. Five out of fourteen NHS Boards met or exceeded a quarter of their annual Standard of successful twelve-week quits. Information on all NHS Boards is displayed in the dashboard.
  • The types of services accessed to support smoking cessation makes a difference, with those accessing specialist services twice as likely to be still not smoking after 12 weeks compared with those who use pharmacy based services (49% and 27% respectively).


In July 2005 a national smoking cessation database was set up to capture data on people presenting to NHS services in Scotland for help to stop smoking. The database is designed to collect the national minimum dataset for smoking cessation services from all 14 NHS Boards in Scotland. The minimum dataset is the mandatory client information required for national monitoring purposes, developed by PATH (Partnership Action on Tobacco and Health).

From July 2014 information about service activity and outcomes from pharmacy services was recorded through the smoking cessation support tool available in the Pharmacy Care Record. This forms part of the minimum dataset. The smoking cessation minimum data set is electronically submitted from Pharmacy Care Record to the national smoking cessation database.

Figures are based on total quit dates set (quit attempts) during the year, rather than total number of people with a quit attempt, so could include repeat quit attempts for the same person.

The LDP Standard changed in 2018/19 to exclude quit attempts in prisons, therefore comparisons of quit attempts prior to 2018/19 are based on different definitions and are not valid.

Further Information

Background to the national minimum dataset for smoking cessation services is available on the PHS web site.

The next release of this publication (Financial Year 2021/22 – Quarter 1 data) will be in January 2022.

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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: 21 March 2024
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