A NEW specialist smoke-free service aimed at combating health inequalities within the borough has been launched by Ealing Community Partners.

The service, commissioned by the public health team at Ealing Council, targets specific groups, including individuals with mental health problems and pregnant women, to directly address the high prevalence of smoking and its impact on life expectancy.

Smoking remains the leading cause of preventable illness and premature death in Ealing. Around 79,000 deaths are attributed to smoking annually in the UK.

Smoking prevalence in Ealing is alarmingly high, with 27.4% of adults with long-term health conditions, 75.4% of people admitted for substance misuse treatment, and 10.3% of the general population identified as smokers.

The findings are from the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities.

The new service is available to people aged 18 and over, living in the borough and registered with an Ealing GP practice.

Eligible participants will be currently smoking cigarettes and also meet specific criteria, including having a mental health diagnosis or being pregnant.

Referrals to the service can be made through the website (Specialist Smoke-Free Service to Support People During Pregnancy and with Their Mental Health) or through a GP.

Sessions can be conducted face-to-face or remotely. Each appointment lasts around 30 minutes on a weekly basis.

Over a 12-week period, participants will receive behavioural support to assist in quitting smoking or reducing tobacco consumption.