Shock stats show nearly 700 people ‘die early’ from smoking in Doncaster each year

Nearly 700 people 'die early’ every year due to smoking in Doncaster, new figures show.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 11th June 2019, 2:39 pm
Updated Tuesday, 18th June 2019, 2:17 pm
Doncaster Council's smoking targets are now 'unrealistic'
Doncaster Council's smoking targets are now 'unrealistic'

In documents seen by councillors, smoking is still the ‘leading cause of preventable deaths’ each year with an estimated 675 people dying early – or 13 residents a week.

In a report compiled by health bosses at Doncaster Council, smoking rates in the borough is ‘flat-lining’ after dropping from 27.5 per cent in 2011 to 19.6 per cent in 2015.

But latest figures show the number of smokers has actually increased to 19.7 per cent. Health bosses in Doncaster set the ambitious target of reducing rates of smoking to 10 per cent or less by 2022.

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It’s understood the figure do not include those who use electronic cigarettes.

The stats has resulted in health bosses admitting the target has become ‘unrealistic’ to achieve.

Health chiefs also raised concern around the rising rates of smoking within the ‘routine and manual workers’ sector. This now stands at nearly 32 per cent – a steady rise from 2016.

Figures also show the average smoker in Doncaster spends over £2,000 each year on tobacco related products and smoking costs the NHS in the borough around £78 million.

The report, presented to councillors on the health & wellbeing board shows between 80 and 90 per cent of the council’s resources are spent on supporting people to quit smoking, with ‘significantly less’ spent on prevention activities such as public awareness campaigns.

A new plan is being drawn up on the back of a consultation with both smokers and non-smokers to reduce smoking rates.

Anna Brook, public health registrar at Doncaster Council, said: “If the wider impacts of tobaccorelated harm are considered, it is estimated that each year smoking costs Doncaster £50.7m in lost productivity. In addition, people in Doncaster spend £99.5m on tobacco related products.

“As smoking is closely associated with economic deprivation this money will be disproportionately drawn from Doncaster’s poorest citizens and communities.

“If this money was spent on other things instead of smoking the effect would be to create jobs in the local economy.

Reducing smoking prevalence will support Doncaster Working ambitions through reducing this lost productivity.”