Stop Smoking Service – Hertfordshire Health Improvement Service (HHIS)

Hertfordshire Health Improvement Service (HHIS) provides stop smoking support to anyone who lives or works in Hertfordshire. HHIS provide support to community pharmacies commissioned to provide the stop smoking services commissioned by Public Health Hertfordshire. The stop smoking service provided by community pharmacy is commissioned by Hertfordshire County Council.

Community Pharmacy Hertfordshire (CPH) would like to advise community pharmacies of some changes to the Hertfordshire County Council (HCC) Stop Smoking Service contract from April 2024. The Public Health team has contacted pharmacies that previously provided the service to notify them of the end of contract and is offering the new contract to those with a history of assisting at least three clients in their quit attempts in the last financial year. If you have not received this new contract, you are not eligible to provide the stop smoking service.

The current locally commissioned contract ended on 31 March 2024. The new contract, effective from 1 April 2024, continues to be based upon payment of successful quit outcomes achieved by service users. There will be no payment for any sessions or activities that do not lead to a quit, which is considerably different to the national advanced service for smoking cessation. Therefore, we believe this makes the service financially unsustainable for our community pharmacies which has been demonstrated by the low activity and service delivery in the last year and presented evidence of this to the Public Health Team at Hertfordshire County Council. CPH undertook a benchmarking exercise of the smoking service in East of England and identified areas where the service has been decommissioned because of lack of uptake by community pharmacies due to a similar payment structure. Community pharmacies are also struggling to meet the minimum number of quitters threshold that is required of the service thus demonstrating that the service is not financially viable. As part of the benchmarking exercise one area was identified that are piloting the service in line with the advanced smoking cessation service specification, which we strongly requested consideration for.

CPH has an excellent working relationship with the Hertfordshire Public Health team however we are sad that we have been unable to reach agreement on a restructured payment that would support community pharmacies to continue to deliver this local service to clients. We recognise that this is because HCC Public Health cannot only consider community pharmacies as they have to include other providers they commission to provide this service and have a finite budget in which they have to work. CPH has informed the Public Health team that we do not support or recommend pharmacies to sign up to the local stop smoking service under the current payment structure.

Therefore, for all the reasons outlined Community Pharmacy Hertfordshire (CPH) committee believes it is no longer financially viable for community pharmacies to continue to deliver the Stop Smoking service within Hertfordshire and would recommend community pharmacies do not sign up to deliver the local stop smoking service.

For those pharmacies that have been invited to sign up, the decision to continue under the new contract ultimately rests with each pharmacy contractor. However, based on our financial analysis, CPH encourages all contractors to review the specification and make an informed decision on its viability. We have provided a simple costings tool for this service that may support you in making this decision.

We remain committed to working with the Public Health team on locally commissioned public health services and are pleased to continue to support the implementation and delivery of the local sexual health service. We would welcome a review of the local stop smoking service that would bring the local Hertfordshire contract in line with the national Specification for the Advanced Smoking cessation Service.

Please note that all pharmacies can continue to dispense NRT products in the usual way regardless of delivery of the stop smoking service. 

Stop Smoking Service Specification

Stop Smoking service specification (April 2024 – March 2027)

Signposting to Stop Smoking Support

Many people try to quit smoking with willpower alone but there are lots of different support options and tools available. There is a free NHS Quit Smoking app that can be promoted to your local community and you can refer your local community to the Hertfordshire Stop Smoking Service if they need support. More information is at and a referral form is also attached.

Stop Smoking Training

Please contact HHIS for training dates and further information by phone 01442 453071 or by email

NRT Vouchers

Due to the ongoing difficulty with supplies of bupropion (Zyban) and Varenicline (Champix), Hertfordshire Health Improvement Service continues to extend funding for dual Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT), as appropriate, to all smokers accessing commissioned Stop Smoking Services across Hertfordshire. Please continue to issue single/dual therapy until further instructed.

Full information can be found in the NRT Voucher Protocol.  To view the NRT voucher accreditation process please click here.

Please view the updated NRT voucher processing information.

Contact Details

If you have any service queries please contact Hertfordshire Health Improvement Service on 01442 453071 or email If you are already commissioned for the Stop Smoking Service you can also contact your Health Improvement Locality Specialist.

East & North Herts: Sharon O’Connor (01438 844733) 

West Herts (Herts Valleys): Lauren Arthur (01438 845924)

Smoking cessation update on redeeming alternative products

Stop Smoking advisors are now advised to inform clients within consultations that there are stock shortages with certain NRT products and therefore a possibility that alternative products may be offered by the pharmacist after having a discussion with the client.

HHIS support pharmacies to offer an alternative equivalent product to the client should they wish to use an alternative. This can be processed on PharmOutcomes where pharmacists will be able to see the requested product as normal but will be able to issue the alternative product when completing the NRT supplied field.