Former smokers in Leeds are a growing band new figures show, as the annual Stoptober campaign comes to an end.
Leeds smoking rates are continuing to fall and are now the lowest in West Yorkshire new data released by Public Health England shows.
Smoking rates have halved from the millennium, when around a third of adults in the city were smokers, to an all-time low of 16.7 per cent.
Youth smoking rates are also at the lowest ever recorded rates according to figures obtained through the Leeds schools survey.
Councillor Rebecca Charlwood, Leeds City Council executive member for adults and health, said:
“This is really positive news and a great example of the benefits of the preventative public health work we do. With smoking being the cause of death for half of those who smoke, the support in place to help people quit is helping save lives and making a difference in thousands of homes across the city.
“However, smoking still costs people in Leeds dearly. ASH calculate it as £186 million, which includes over £50 million costs to the NHS and social care. Then we have 65 tonnes of smoking waste every year, of which 27 tonnes is discarded as street litter the council has to clear up. That's enough cigarette butts being discarded on the street to fill 1169 standard wheelie bins every year - and that doesn’t include cigarette packaging and other smoking-related litter!”
Dr Ian Cameron, Leeds City Council’s Director of Public Health, said:
“We are making progress towards the aim of creating a smoke free generation, with over 35,000 less smokers in Leeds than there were in 2011. By giving people the right advice and support, we are both helping people who want to quit and encouraging people to never even start.
“We can all play our part in helping friends and relatives to quit, giving them support and encouragement if they lapse. There are now more ways to give up than ever before and because we know that people usually find it easier and more successful quitting if they get support, I recommend people contact One You Leeds for access to their free support.”
Anyone wanting support and advice to be smokefree can contact One You via www.oneyouleeds.org.uk
The Breathe2025 campaign is encouraging the next generation of children born and raised in a place free from tobacco, where smoking is unusual. http://breathe2025.org.uk/
ASH’s ‘ready reckoner’ can be found at: http://ash.lelan.co.uk/