North East Sees Biggest Drop In Smokers

28 June 2012, 05:08 | Updated: 30 March 2016, 13:50

Five years since the smoking ban was brought in, the North East has seen more than 7% of people quit smoking .

This weekend (July 1st) sees the fifth anniversary of Smokefree law, which meant smoking was banned indoors in public places

Since July 1, 2007, the North East has seen:

  • 21.6% of the population of the north East are smokers compared to 29% 5 years ago
  • 24,308 smokers have quit in the last two years in the North East,  resulting in £4.38m being saved in regional Primary Care Costs
  • 97% of businesses in the North East have stuck to the indoor smoking ban
  • 52% of smokers in the North East don't allow smoking in their homes
  • 87% of adults in the North East think more needs to be done to stop children starting smoking

    Ailsa Rutter, director of FRESH, said:
    "Support for Smokefree law has been incredibly high and it is a measure that worked. It was always about reducing exposure to second hand smoke and continuing to reduce the impact of our biggest killer, but it also encouraged some smokers to quit.

    The North East has made fantastic progress over the last five years and is continuing to do so. We have gone from the region with the worst smoking rates to the region known nationally for tackling the harm tobacco causes. There has been a big change in attitudes towards smoking over the past few years and we will continue to help support smokers who want to quit and raise awareness of the harm tobacco causes.

    We must not forget, however, that there is still a great deal of work to be done in tackling tobacco. Smoking is still the biggest cause of premature death and disease in the North East and is the biggest contributor to health inequalities, with nearly one in five deaths among the over 35s as a result of smoking.

    We have 11 deaths every day in the region from smoking, which causes almost 90 per cent of lung cancer deaths, 80 per cent of bronchitis and emphysema related deaths and 17 per cent of heart disease deaths. And for every death caused by smoking, another 20 smokers are suffering from smoking related disease - which costs the North East NHS £210million every year."