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Council endorses a 'smoke free' North Tyneside in less than 10 years

Chronicle Live logo Chronicle Live 02/07/2022 Austen Shakespeare
Cigarette butts © PA Cigarette butts

Council bosses have endorsed measures to make North Tyneside “smoke free” in less than 10 years.

North Tyneside council’s health and wellbeing board was recommended to endorse proposals made in a Government paper, ‘The Khan Review - Making Smoking Obsolete’, to make the whole of the UK smoke free by 2030.

‘Smoke free’ is defined by the Government as five per cent or less of the population smoking.

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The recommendations include enhancing illicit tobacco enforcement with an additional £15m per year for local trading standards. A total of £70m per year was also proposed to boost stop smoking services.

Government funding to the tune of £15m was recommended specifically to stop or prevent pregnant women from smoking. Around 10% of women continue to smoke while pregnant.

Chris Woodcock, a senior public health manager, said in committee: “Still, six million people in this country smoke. 200 people die a day as a result of smoking related illness. To use someone else's catchphrase ‘smoking is the new smoking.’”

The health official went on to explain the risks of smoking are not equally distributed across the population.

“If you are in routine and manual occupations you are two and half times more likely to smoke. If you are a social housing tenant you are three times more likely to smoke than someone who has a mortgage.

”This is not equal harm in our communities.”

The Khan review discovered the poorest areas and communities would not hit the smoke free target until 2044 if tougher measures were not put in place. A 2021 YouGov survey found 10% of those in lower income groups smoked as many as 21 to 30 cigarettes a day.

The North Tyneside Smokefree Alliance will also consider the Khan review and develop a set of local actions to reduce smoking.

As a result of the meeting a letter will be sent to the Government on behalf of the health and wellbeing board urging the Government to implement the Khan review’s recommendations.

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