08 Mar 2015

City Health and Wellbeing Board backs No Smoking Day - 11 March 2015

Making further progress in the long term goal to cut smoking in the city by half is a key element behind health and care leaders in Leeds backing the national day encouraging smokers to quit.

Smoking costs the Leeds economy an estimated £201.4m per year. This includes:

• £45m from early deaths,

• £88m in smoking breaks,

• £17m in loss of productivity due to smoking related sick days,

• £27.4m in NHS costs, and

• £5.1m in smoking related fires.

Around half of those who smoke are killed by it, through a mix of diseases and illnesses. The poor quality of life caused by tobacco use also means smokers can live lives which are far worse than they should be.

Despite smokers in Leeds contributing approximately £163.2m per year in duty on tobacco products, tobacco still costs Leeds far more than the duty raised, resulting in about a £38m shortfall each year.

A family with two people smoking 20 cigarettes per day costs the household £5,000 per year. There is good evidence to suggest this is money that would be spent elsewhere in local communities, providing a boost to the local economy through spending on other goods and services.

Councillor Lisa Mulherin, Chair of the Leeds Health and Wellbeing Board, said:

“I’m delighted to back No Smoking Day. Next month will see us launch our Take Seven Steps Out campaign locally, to tackle the harm to children and young people from exposure to secondhand smoke (also known as passive smoking) in homes and cars. We want to use the new legislation banning smoking in cars with children and the success of similar campaigns elsewhere to give renewed emphasis to our help for smokers to quit.”

Dr Ian Cameron, Leeds City Council’s Director of Public Health, said:

“Smoking is a cause of half of the health inequalities in the UK. It is responsible for more deaths than the next six causes combined. Although smoking rates in the city are almost half those when I was born, we have still a 23 per cent smoking rate, four per cent worse than the national average. Every Leeds smoker knocking the habit on the head, will not only save them thousands of pounds smoking costs, but is a big step in saving them from years of ill health or worse."

Public health tobacco control expert Paul Lambert said:

“We know smoking is an addiction of childhood, with data showing over 80% of smokers start as teenagers. Children growing up with parents who smoke are four times more likely to become smokers themselves, so if parents and carers make their homes and cars smokefree, we can reduce uptake among children."

Details of support for those who want to give up is available on the www.leedsletschange.co.uk website.

Notes for editors:

More information about No Smoking Day is available at: https://nosmokingday.org.uk/

For further information contact:

Phil Morcom

Communications team

Leeds City Council

4th Floor West, Civic Hall, Leeds, LS1 1UR

Mobile: 07891 276270


For media enquiries contact:

Leeds City Council Communications team