Plans to cut stop smoking services in Harrow have been proposed by the council.

As part of Harrow Council’s public consultation on the budget for the 2017-18 financial year, plans have been put forward to slash the service, which has helped 1,751 people successfully quit smoking since April 2013.

Despite the council admitting that smoking accounts for more premature deaths across the UK than alcoholism, obesity and road traffic accidents combined, it is proposing to cut all five of its existing smoking cessation programmes, including work to tackle the proliferation of illegal tobacco in the borough.

As a result, people who want to stop smoking would be required to find help elsewhere, including through GPs who, if willing, are able to provide advice, support and prescriptions.

Help can also be sought at pharmacies and through national, charitable or commercial stop smoking resources.

Four people are facing redundancy as a result of the proposed cuts. The posts they currently occupy are two smoking cessation practitioners, one as-and-when smoking cessation practitioner, and one coordinator.

Central government has reduced funding to councils in recent years, meaning Harrow Council will have £83 million less to spend in 2018 compared to 2014.

According to the council, the consultation presents “one of our proposals to make savings and/or earn revenue in Harrow Council services” in future years.

It is estimated that the cuts will make savings of around £279,000.

The council’s Smoking Cessation Service provides support for people who want to stop smoking, and for organisations that help people stop smoking.

The service is accredited by the National Centre for Smoking Cessation Training, using “the most effective evidence-based methods to help Harrow residents stop smoking”.

Members of the public have until November 3 to register their opposition or support for the plans.