West Berkshire Council

Smoking falls to record low in West Berkshire

Smoking in West Berkshire has fallen to its lowest recorded rate.

STOCK IMAGE - Cigarette snapped in two

Smoking in West Berkshire has fallen to its lowest recorded rate with the district also performing well when compared with smoking prevalence nationally.

In West Berkshire there has been a 4% drop in the rate of smoking since 2012 with latest statistics showing that 14.1% of residents smoke. This is better than the average of 16.9% across England.

West Berkshire Council continues to invest in a smoking cessation service to help people quit smoking and lead healthier lifestyles. Estimates suggest that between 2012 and 2014 around 230 people in every 100,000 living in the district died due to a smoking-related condition (the national average of 288 people in every 100,000).

In the district, the Council spent £279,000 this year on a service to help people quit smoking. The Smokefreelife service, delivered by Solutions 4 Heath. The services providing consultation and support for smokers is delivered in communities, in hospitals and in primary care settings.

West Berkshire Council is pleased to support No Smoking Day - a day to raise awareness of the support available to help smokers quit and to highlight the dangers of smoking.

Councillor Graham Jones, West Berkshire Council's Executive Member for Public Health and Wellbeing said: "The number of people who smoke in the district is comparatively low but we still have around 16,000 adults and 800 young people who smoke. We invest in a stop smoking service and also we work hard with schools and in our communities to highlight the dangers of smoking and prevent people from taking it up in the first place.

"Smoking can affect someone's quality of life at every stage; from its impact on unborn children in mothers that smoke right through to affecting the length and quality of a smoker's retirement. I would really encourage those people who smoke to take the first important step today and get in touch with our stop smoking service."

To help highlight the dangers of smoking to schoolchildren, the West Berkshire and Wokingham Trading Standards team has teamed up with public health colleagues to commission a puppet show called 'Meet the Stinkers.' The Muppets-style play tells pupils how tobacco can harm health and gives advice on building resilience to the peer pressure element of youth smoking.  Last year it was seen by 330 children and this year it has already been performed to 580 pupils at 13 schools.

For help quitting smoking visit Smokefreelife Berkshire or call 0800 622 6360.

Smokefreelife Berkshire are running a stop smoking-healthy hearts event this Saturday in Northbrook Street, Newbury. The event will take place between 10-4 this Saturday (11 March).