Smoking declining in Rotherham but more can be done

Published Wednesday, 5th July 2017
Cigarette in ash tray
Cigarette in ash tray

More people are quitting smoking in Rotherham than elsewhere in Yorkshire and the Humber, a decade since the smoke free ban came in to force.

However, Rotherham people are still more likely to start smoking than people in other parts of England, and as a result are more likely to suffer from smoking related illnesses, new statistics show.

A recent report by Yorkshire Smokefree – the quit smoking service commissioned by Rotherham Council – highlights the number of people giving up, but also where long term issues lie.

There has been a significant decline in people taking up smoking nationally in the last five years – which has been attributed to the smoke free ban and also the introduction of plain packaging for cigarettes.

Although numbers of people taking up smoking is also falling in Rotherham, this is not at the same rate as it is nationally.

Now Rotherham health chiefs want to encourage more people in Rotherham to quit.

Cllr David Roche, Cabinet Member for Public Health at Rotherham Council said: “It is good that people are realising the dangers of smoking and that young people especially are not taking up smoking, as these new figures show.

“But we know there is still more that can be done here in Rotherham to help people give up and to prevent people from wanting to begin smoking in the first place.”

Terri Roche, Director of Public Health at Rotherham Council added: “Smoking is linked to deprivation, and as Rotherham has higher levels of deprivation than the national average, it is not surprising that we still have higher than average smoking rates here.

“Our aim is to break this cycle by letting people know that it is never too late to quit smoking; this is the message we want people to understand. Stopping smoking can help to prevent illnesses which are attributed to smoking, and ultimately death. We will continue to refer people to quit smoking services to help reduce the numbers.”

Since the introduction of smoke free legislation in England 10 years ago, there has been significant growth in support for this and other legislation introduced by the Government, particularly among smokers themselves, says charity Action on Smoking and Health (ASH).

The last decade has also seen the UK become a world leader in implementation of the World Health Organisation’s tobacco treaty.

The ASH report Smokefree: The First Ten Years, also notes increasing public support for further measures such as a licensing scheme for tobacco retailers and a levy on the tobacco industry to pay for measures to reduce smoking prevalence.

For more information on smoking and how to quit, visit the Yorkshire Smokefree website.

Go to the Smoke Free website