Professor Robert West

Smoking: what helps people quit?

Professor West, based at University College London, is investigating how best to encourage and help people to stop smoking. 

Professor West’s team is looking at how effective different ways of encouraging smokers to quit are. The interventions they are comparing include the NHS Stop Smoking Services, which see more than 600,000 smokers each year, and also the different ways these Services advise people about stopping. They also include national-level interventions, such as making smoking more expensive. 

Alongside gathering and analysing data on existing smoking interventions, the team is also running large clinical trials of potential new methods, to see if they can improve on what we already have. These range from DVDs to providing point-of-sale information on the use of nicotine replacement therapy. 

Smoking is still the biggest preventable cause of cancer, so research like Professor West’s is important to make sure we can help more people quit, and reduce their risk of developing the disease.

Behavioural research
Cancer prevention

University College London, London