The number of smokers in Wolverhampton is continuing to fall, latest figures show.

The percentage of adults who smoke in the city dropped from 16.5% in 2015 to 14.4% in 2017, according to data from Public Health England, amounting to almost 5,000 fewer smokers.

Smoking rates in Wolverhampton are now also lower than the national average - which now stands at 14.9%.

Councillor Hazel Malcolm, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, said: "Reducing smoking rates across the city remains a top public health priority for us and this is a great step in the right direction.

"Despite this, smoking remains the largest preventable cause of death in Wolverhampton and is responsible for nearly 1,800 hospital admissions a year.

"We want to drive down smoking rates still further, and so are working towards making Wolverhampton a smoke free city.

"Smokers tell us they want us to make it harder for them to smoke in the first place. Promoting smoke free areas, such as parks, will not only protect people from the effects of passive smoking and prevent smokers from lighting up in the first place, but also reduce the visibility of smoking across Wolverhampton."

Effective enforcement has seen the council's regulatory services continue to tackle illicit tobacco while maintaining a high duty prices for tobacco products nationally is making them less affordable - a 20-a-day smoker will typically spend around £3,600 a year on cigarettes, or just under £10 a day.

The introduction of e-cigarettes, a less harmful source of nicotine and the most widely used stop smoking aid, is also helping people to quit.

Meanwhile, the council is working with children and young people to prevent them from smoking in the first place, for instance running programmes in local schools educating pupils about the dangers of smoking, and erecting signage promoting the importance of smokefree environment around schools.

Councillor Malcolm added: "While we of course want to stop people smoking in the first place, there is support available to anyone who wants to quit, and I would encourage people to take advantage of this."

For help and support to stop smoking, please visit Type=articles;Articleid=4639;Title=Be Smokefree;.

  • released: Thursday 12 July, 2018