Nearly a third of people in Dorset who set a date to give up smoking were able to quit with NHS support, new figures show.

However, the Action on Smoking and Health charity said it is "unacceptable" that these services have been underfunded for many years.

NHS figures show 467 people in Dorset set a date to give up smoking with NHS Stop Smoking Services in the final quarter of 2023. Of them, 147 (31%) were successful.

Meanwhile, 84 were not able to quit smoking. Others did not follow up with services, so their smoking status was unknown.

Across England, 54% of the 133,000 who set a date to quit in the recent quarter were successful.

John Waldron, ASH policy and public affairs manager, said: "Stop smoking services have been underfunded for many years and support a quarter of the numbers they did in 2010.

"As a central plank of our efforts to help smokers quit, this has long been unacceptable."

Waldron added the Government's investment of £70 million into the services, alongside their "bold commitment" to phase out the sale of tobacco to those born after 2008 is welcome.

He said: "Through creating a smokefree generation and supporting current smokers to quit, we are on the path to ending smoking in this country for good."

Rishi Sunak’s proposal to ban young people from ever being able to legally smoke tobacco cleared its first Commons hurdle last week, despite many Conservative MPs objecting to it.

MPs voted 383 to 67, with a majority of 316, to give the Tobacco and Vapes Bill a second reading.

The legislation, seen by the Prime Minister as a key part of his long-term legacy, would make it illegal to sell tobacco products to anyone born after January 1, 2009, with the aim of creating a "smoke-free" generation.

The Department of Health and Social Care estimates smoking is responsible for around 80,000 deaths annually, costing the NHS and economy an estimated £17 billion a year.

Separately, NHS figures show £37.9 million was spent across England's local authorities in delivering NHS Stop Smoking Services in 2023.

Health and social care secretary Victoria Atkins said smoking remains the UK’s biggest preventable killer.

"The truth is that there is no safe level of tobacco consumption. It is uniquely harmful and that is why we are taking this important action today to protect the next generation," she said.

"This bill will save thousands of lives, ease the strain on our NHS and improve the UK’s productivity."