NICE provides Clinical Guidance on Smoking cessation services which includes guidance on use of Smoking cessation medication
The evidence base for smoking cessation medication is for use within structured stop smoking services. The stop smoking services provide support such as identifying the triggers to smoke and ensuring patients have strategies to avoid or manage such triggers. The service undertakes a significant amount of preparation work with clients before making a quit attempt to increase the possibility of a positive outcome
Stop smoking services are available in a wide range of settings and although patients may approach practices with a view to stop smoking opportunistically, without planning a quit attempt, it less likely to be effective.
PCT policy is to supply stop smoking medication in line with the NICE guidance
Clinical Commissioning Groups have asked if patient information can be provided to support their decision to work within the national guidance.
A question and answer sheet is available for frequently asked questions and includes copies of the relevant letters to prescribers from the KCHT stop smoking services (when the patient has indicated a preference for supply of prescription only items).
Information on additional support available for patients to stop smoking is included in the patient letter.
If a decision to prescribe outside of the policy is made, a record of why medication has been supplied outside of the structured support services would be required with details of how support and/or follow up is being provided.
NICE Public Health Guidance 10 Smoking cessation services February 2008
A patient letter template is provided for practice use.