12% smoking target in new Lancashire Tobacco Plan

Thursday, October 12, 2017

A plan to cut smoking rates across Lancashire to 12% by 2022 has been approve today.

The Lancashire Tobacco Control Plan, which was agreed by the county council's cabinet, sets out a number of measures to build on the work that has been delivered so far to encourage people to quit smoking.

It highlights how Lancashire will support the national target of working towards a smoke-free generation.

Smoking is the biggest preventable cause of premature death and ill health in Lancashire. It kills more than 1,600 people aged 35 or over across the county each year.

This is greater than the total number of deaths from alcohol, obesity, illegal drugs, murder, suicide, road traffic accidents and HIV infection combined.

County Councillor Shaun Turner, lead member for health and adult services, said: "Smoking is one of the major factors that contributes to the huge health inequalities across our county.

"It leads to thousands of premature deaths and causes people to live in ill health for many years. In financial terms, the costs associated with it are astronomical too.

"The costs of smoking to Lancashire's economy are over £291m each year, including £50m to the NHS.
"We've been successful in reducing smoking rates down to 16%, but we need to build on this.

"The measures set out in the tobacco control plan will help us cut smoking rates to 12% by 2022."

Some of the ways the council will reduce smoking include:

• Commissioning new digital services using cutting-edge technology to encourage people to quit
• Carrying out more targeted work to encourage specific groups to quit. These include reducing smoking rates for pregnant women to 6% or less by 2022 and cutting smoking for manual and routine workers. Rates for this group are 23.9%, which is significantly higher compared to the rest of the county's population.
• Continuing to provide support to help people change smoking behavioural and nicotine replacement therapy to help them quit. For people who still struggle to stop, supporting people to use e-cigarettes as one of the tools to help them quit. Although not risk free, these cause significantly less harm to people's health than conventional cigarettes.

County Councillor Turner added: "We're continuing to commission our Quit Squad stop smoking services to reduce smoking rates. We'll also continue clamping down on under-age tobacco, e-cigarette liquids and illicit tobacco sales.

"We're also bringing in new measures such as increasing the use of digital technology to help people quit and supporting the use of e-cigarettes as an alternative to help people stop smoking.

"Together with work to target specific groups where smoking rates are particularly high, we hope to achieve our aim to make Lancashire's next generation a smoke free generation."

For more information about the Tobacco Control Plan for Lancashire, visit the cabinet web page

To quit smoking or find out more about Quit Squad, visit http://www.quitsquad.nhs.uk or call 0800 328 6297.

The Quit Squad service is commissioned and funded by Lancashire County Council and delivered by Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust.

Tagged as: Health and Social Care

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