Published Friday 18 October 2019 at 13:49
New stats show smoking rates in Blackburn with Darwen have fallen significantly since 2016.
Issued by Public Health England, the stats show the amount of adult smokers in Blackburn with Darwen dropped from 19.5 per cent (21,472) to 16.2 per cent (17,893) in 2018.
The total cost of smoking stands at £32.5m with the average person spending £2,050 on tobacco products every year.
Locally, pharmacies are able a range of personalised support to help people stop smoking for good.
This includes access to one-to-one behavioural support with a trained stop smoking advisor and a supply of nicotine replacement therapy and advice on the best products.
Local partners including Blackburn with Darwen Council and Blackburn with Darwen CCG have also worked together to deliver local Tobacco Control Policy and worked on local initiatives around smokefree homes, cars and outdoor spaces.
The Council has also formed a tobacco alliance; a newly formed multiagency group that aims to share information, learning and contributing to raising the profile of Tobacco control within Blackburn with Darwen with the ultimate aim of reducing smoking prevalence.
It has also been vocal in its support for plain tobacco packaging, which came into force in 2016, and regularly backed national campaigns like Stoptober, which is taking place this month.
For this year’s Stoptober campaign, Public Health England has been encouraging all smokers to ‘split up’ with smoking by re-evaluating their bad relationship with it.
Stoptober’s free quitting support includes the Stoptober app, Facebook messenger bot, daily emails, a Personal Quit Plan and Stoptober online communities.
Councillor Damian Talbot, Executive Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, said:
These stats are encouraging and I’m delighted to see so many people have been successful in their at attempts to quit. Stopping smoking is vitally important to improving health and wellbeing, improving life expectancy and reducing hospital admissions.
There is a way to go, smoking still costs the borough millions in terms of health care, productivity, social care and littering of tobacco waste creates over 21kg but all progress is welcome.
During Stoptober we want people to know there is help and support available locally through pharmacies that will give people a good chance of breaking away from their addictions and starting to feel the health and financial benefits of becoming smokefree.
Dr Stuart Berry, GP Clinical Lead for respiratory conditions across Pennine Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) said:
Stopping smoking is likely to be the biggest thing that a person can do to improve their health and reduce their chance of more serious health problems. Please make this October your Stoptober – and better still, why not get some of your friends and family involved as well. Celebrate each day that is smoke free.
No one is alone in trying to quit smoking – help is out there for everyone. As well as pharmacies that can offer advice on how to quit smoking, you can find the top ten self-help tips to stop smoking on the NHS website at www.nhs.uk
For help to quit smoking contact your local pharmacy or GP surgery.