Smoking prevalence in Northumberland hits record low
17 Jul 2018 ARCHIVED (over 3 months old) - view latest news
Adult smoking rates in the Northumberland have hit an all time record low according to figures published by the Office of National Statistics.
Smoking prevalence among adults in Northumberland has fallen from 16.9% in 2016 to 13% in 2017 - a notable drop in just one year.
There are a number of reasons for this drop, including the county’s well established stop smoking service. The Northumberland Stop Smoking Service working with partners in pharmacies, GP practices and the hospital trust, supports hundreds of people to kick the habit each year, which has played a major role. Many people are also now switching from tobacco to vaping products which are 95% safer than smoking tobacco.
The Making Smoking History in the North East Partnership has now set a target to push further with this fantastic progress and aims to reduce the number of adults smoking to just 10% by 2020.
Fresh, the north east tobacco control programme, is now urging smokers who have struggled to quit before to try to stop at least once a year and take heart from the hundreds of thousands of other people who have stopped for good.
Northumberland County Councillor, Veronica Jones, Cabinet member for adult wellbeing and health said:
“ It is really great to see a decrease in the numbers of adults in the county smoking and that there has been an increase in successful stop-smoking attempts.
“ Tobacco is the biggest preventable cause of premature death in the UK. The dangers of smoking are well-documented, as are the benefits of quitting, but it is often overlooked how difficult it can be for smokers to give up. A lot of smokers would like to quit, and we urge them to get in touch and find out about the help available. There is support that can be tailored to different people's needs and really make a difference to help people improve their health.
“ You don’t have to kick the habit alone. Northumberland's stop smoking services are on hand to support quitters every step of the way."
Kerry Lynch, Senior Public Health Manager at Northumberland County Council said:
"People can often make several attempts to go smoke free, but taking the first step is what’s important and getting the right help to do so means that you are more likely to be successful. Our Stop Smoking Service can assist you with your first step and can help you with your decision to quit or switch to a vaping product.”
Research has shown that people who stop smoking for 28 days are five times more likely to stop for good and people taking part in the Stoptober challenge can get friendly, free and professional support from their local NHS Stop Smoking Service.
Dr David Shovlin, a GP in Hexham and Clinical Director at NHS Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said:
“It’s heartening to see this significant drop in adult smoking prevalence in Northumberland. Reducing smoking rates is a key priority for the CCG. GP practices across the county are committed to supporting the Northumberland NHS Stop Smoking Service and helping all our patients to quit by raising the issue at every opportunity.”
The Northumberland NHS Stop Smoking Service is commissioned by Northumberland County Council’s public health service and provided by Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.
Clinics are available in a range of venues including GP practices, pharmacies and community centres. Some out-of-hours clinics are also available for those who find it difficult to attend appointments during the day.
For information and support on stopping smoking including a personalised quit plan and prescription treatments to help beat cravings, smokers and e-cigarette users can contact Northumberland NHS Stop Smoking Services by calling 01670 813 135 or visit www.northumbria.nhs.uk/stopsmoking.