Blackpool’s terrible record when it comes to the number of people smoking is improving, according to new figures.
New figures released by Public Health England show that smoking among adults in Blackpool is down to 26.5 per cent from 29.5 per cent in 2012/13
And smoking during pregnancy has fallen significantly too, going down from 30.8 per cent in 2012/13 to 27.5 per cent.
There has also been a plunge in smoking among workers in manual and skilled trade jobs, a group commonly associated with high levels of tobacco use – from 44.3 per cent to 36.8 per cent.
Coun Eddie Collett, Blackpool Council’s cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said: “These new figures are extremely encouraging and are testament to the work the team, and the NHS across the town, are doing.
“So many of the services encompass positive quit smoking messages now within what they do it is really making a tremendous difference.
“We believe the ongoing de-normalisation of smoking in society, from the smoking ban to increased public awareness of the dangers is having a real effect.
“While we still face an enormous challenge this positive progress takes us closer to achieving Blackpool’s ambition to reduce adult smoking prevalence to 22.5 per cent by 2017.”
And Hannah Corless, health education practitioner for Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said the inpatient Tobacco Specialist Service had received 1,680 patient referrals since April 2014 for advice around stopping smoking.
She said: “Improved smoking cessation training opportunities for Trust employees has enabled staff to motivate more patients to quit.
“We continue to promote our site as smoke-free and we support the protection of patients, visitors and staff from second-hand smoke.”
Blackpool-wide initiatives to help people quit include Blackpool’s specialist Stop Smoking Service, which has over the past five years helped 8,298 people quit, the controversial signs to discourage smoking in parks and playgrounds and work with midwifery services to cut the number of pregnant women smoking.