UK National Smoking Cessation Conference - UKNSCC
2009 UK National Smoking Cessation Conference - London more...

‘Real support real people’: getting the message across to hard to reach communities
Meghna Vithlani, Stop Smoking Advisor - Primary Care and Liz Hughes, Stop Smoking Programme Manager, Newham PCT, London, UK


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Meghna Vithlani

Newham PCT stop smoking service wanted to increase the uptake of its services by four key groups: White British, Eastern European men and pregnant ladies, Bangladeshi men.

  • The objectives of the campaign:
  • Identify the beliefs and attitudes towards smoking
  • Current smoking behaviours
  • Awareness of health implications
  • What they want and need from the service
  • Identify awareness raising techniques to best engage these groups

Focus group profiles

Ethnic Group Gender Age
White British/Irish Male 25 – 40
White British/Irish Female 25 – 40
Eastern European Male 20 – 35
Eastern European Female 20 – 35
Eastern European Female Pregnant
Bangladeshi Male 16 – 24
Bangladeshi Male 25 – 49
Bangladeshi Male 50 – 74

Recruitment was on the street, except for pregnant ladies who were recruited through the stop smoking service.

Results: The results showed many interesting findings, but overall a non-existent knowledge of the local stop smoking service. As a result of this we had a personalised outdoor media campaign, which was well received and has encouraged the local community to engage with our service.

Conclusion: As a result of this survey we have developed our service and promoted the stop smoking service to the local population.


About the presenters
Liz Hughes has been employed by Newham PCT as the Stop Smoking Programme Manager since November 2007. Prior to that Liz worked for QUIT as the Regional Project Manager for the Quit Because young peoples project. She has a BSc in Psychology (UWE) and an MSc in Health Psychology (Bath).

Meghna Vithlani has been employed by Newham PCT as a stop smoking advisor Primary care since April 2008. Prior to this she was working for Bromley community Drug Project and Drug Abuse Information Rehabilitation and Research Centre as a Substance Misuse Coordinator. She has a B.H.M.S Bachelors in Homoeopathic Medicine and Surgery (India) and MSc in Clinical and Public Health Aspects of Addiction – Kings College London.


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