Quit Genius piloted alongside NHS stop smoking service in South London

Oct 8, 2020
Medically reviewed by Dr. Maroof Ahmed, MD on 
Oct 9, 2020

The UK is a world-leader in stop smoking support, however, smoking remains the main cause of preventable illness in England. It is one of the key factors for ill health, such as cancers, heart disease, and respiratory diseases. There is also the impact of cigarette smoke on passive smokers. Given the Covid pandemic, there has been a spot light on the remote delivery of NHS stop smoking services.

At the time of the pilot, there were still around 39,401 smokers in the Greenwich borough (18% prevalence). This is much higher when compared to the national average (14.4%) and London (14%). This APS was the second-highest amongst all boroughs.

With a 14% national reduction in access to services since 2017, there has been a decline of provision of local stop smoking services from local authorities.

Moreover, the cost of face to face smoking cessation treatment has remained high. Recent statistics on Stop Smoking Services, published in May 2020, reported the average cost per quitter (excluding pharmacotherapies) for those in the Greenwich borough was £605.

This pilot was therefore commissioned to continue to drive high cessation rates across the Greenwich borough, whilst reducing total expenditure.

User journey and experience

Quit Genius has pioneered a new model of care for smoking cessation; partnering with Greenwich Health as the drivers of a new and accessible digital platform for delivering smoking cessation services to individuals across the borough. With this partnership, Quit Genius received referrals from Greenwich Health and delivered a fully remote customer experience, which was easy to access and convenient for the user.

The program offers personalised CBT content and specialist support from a trained advisor through the individuals’ mobile app. During 1-1 sessions with our NCSCT-qualified quit coaches, users are encouraged to set a realistic quit date and understand more about the source of their addiction. Their quit coach can also tailor a 12-week course of Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) to support the user with their cravings and potential nicotine-related withdrawal symptoms. This NRT is delivered to their home address.

Their holistic approach also includes a connected Carbon Monoxide breath sensor that allows users to measure their Carbon Monoxide levels in under a minute. Verifying quitters using a CO monitor is in keeping with NICE guidelines. This technology is unique to Quit Genius and is not offered by others on the market, including the NHS Smokefree app.

Case for expansion

Greenwich Health recognised the need to bring about change from typical stop smoking services. Quit Genius has demonstrated an ability to facilitate support for patients who may not otherwise be able to access primary care services for smoking cessation, such as pregnant women or routine or manual labourers. As well as this, Quit Genius provides a flexible alternative for those patients who have previously had to rely on drop-in outpatients services.

Financially, the Quit Genius program saw a significant 45% decrease in cost per quitter from £605 to £333, potential savings of £386,000 for the borough.

These cost savings can be attributed to lower overheads with all logistical, clerical and clinical work provided by our team. Any training of staff, follow up of patients, service marketing and communications are provided directly by the Quit Genius team, releasing the external Greenwich Stop smoking providers of this timely burden, without sacrificing the high quit rates.

Impacts of Coronavirus

The Covid-19 pandemic has had a big impact on delivery of stop smoking services across the NHS in 2020. The NCSCT have recommended that face-to-face appointments cease. These changes are not simply a reaction to the pandemic, however, they’re likely here to stay. Prior to the pandemic, 95% of GP consultations took place face-to-face; in the peak of the first lockdown, 99% of consultations are taking place using a digital platform. GPs are able to reach more patients and still deliver high quality care. This is the approach where we, as Quit Genius, look to add value. We want to increase the numbers of people going through stop smoking services in Greenwich. We know that people will be more open to owing to the pandemic and we are the only service provider currently suited to delivering this type of service, once the pandemic starts to come more under control.

Opportunity for NHS Stop Smoking Services

For further information on how Quit Genius can help reach your local NHS Stop Smoking Service, including inpatients support, please complete the form below. You can also visit our webpage for local authorities and NHS CCGs.


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