Recently released government figures say that, despite the NHS spending more to help people give up smoking, fewer people are quitting.
In 2008 the number of people successfully quitting dropped 4%, however spending went up 21% to £74 million, not including the cost of nicotine replacement therapy. The most recent figures show that 337,054 people quit last year, which is 4% less than the 350,800 quitters in 2007.
The amount spent per quitter was £219 in 2008/09 compared with £173 in 2007/08 and £160 in 2006/07.
The statistics also reveal that less than half of pregnant women using the NHS stop smoking service were successful in quitting. The NHS Information Centre says that, of the 18,928 pregnant women who aimed to quit, only 8,641 (46%) managed to do so.
With less people quitting, are more people at risk of hair loss? In 2007 a study of Asian men presented evidence for the link between smoking and hair loss. Scientists studies 740 men with an average age of 65. Participants were questioned on the age they started to lose hair, their smoking history, their height and weight and gave blood samples. After analysing all the data and taking all factors into consideration, the scientists found that cigarettes led to significantly more hair loss.
The study was led by Dr Lin-hui Su from the Far Eastern Memorial Hospital in Taiwan. He wrote in the journal Archives of Dermatology: “After controlling for age and family history, statistically significant positive associations were noted between moderate or severe androgenetic alopecia [baldness] and smoking status, current smoking of 20 cigarettes or more per day and smoking intensity.” Smoking is believed to affect hair loss by damaging the micro-circulation supply to the follicles.
Early hair loss in a smoker may be a warning signal of a more serious health condition so it is recommended a person who notices loss of hair seek an accurate diagnosis.
If you are suffering from thinning hair or hair loss, there are only two treatments that have successfully undergone clinical trials. Minoxidil (for men and women) and Propecia (for men only) have both been licensed by the MHRA and ‘FDA-approved’ for the treatment of hair loss in the UK and the USA respectively.
The Belgravia Centre offers free consultations with hair specialists who are qualified to diagnosis hair loss conditions and advise on an individual treatment programme. To book an appointment, please call 020 7730 6666 or message the clinic. Alternatively, complete the online diagnostic form and a treatment advisor will be in touch.