Smoking shock survey: Quarter of residents ‘unaware’ of cigarette-cancer link

Health concerns: A health survey has revealed that 22 per cent of people in Doncaster were not aware of the link between cancer and smoking.
Health concerns: A health survey has revealed that 22 per cent of people in Doncaster were not aware of the link between cancer and smoking.
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NEARLY a quarter of people in Doncaster are unaware of the link between cancer and smoking, says one of the borough’s top public health experts.

A health survey across the town has revealed that more than 60 years after scientists first raised concerns about the link between cigarettes and cancer, 22 per cent of those surveyed last year were not aware of the connection.

Dr Rupert Suckling, Doncaster’s deputy director of public health, said he was shocked by the statistics, from a survey in 2010.

And he said even fewer people were aware of a similar survey in 2009, which found 31 per cent were unaware of the link with cancer.

The Doncaster figure compares favourably with other parts of South Yorkshire. Figures for Barnsley in 2010 suggest 33 per cent are unaware, with the figure for Sheffield at 31 per cent.

Dr Suckling said: “We were shocked, because we put a lot of effort into making people aware. Part of the quit smoking service is to raise awareness of the dangers of smoking.

“We were particularly surprised by this particular aspect of the survey.

“We need to understand why people are not picking up the health messages around giving up smoking and we are looking at how we can reach these people.

“Nationally, 70 per cent of smokers want to give up, but in Doncaster