Many people are quitting smoking, but more quitters would lift 6,000 people in Shropshire out of poverty
In recent years there has been a huge reduction in smoking. However, for those who remain, smoking costs fall largely on those who can least afford it.
New figures from Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) show that, of the 29,000 households in Shropshire that include an adult smoker, 9,974 are below the poverty line.
An estimated 6,000 people could be lifted out of poverty if they quit smoking, including 1,090 children. On average, households that include a smoker spend £2,158 a year on tobacco.
Most smokers start smoking as teenagers, and after a year of smoking 85% say they would find it difficult to quit.
Smokers often try to quit many times before they are successful, but those on low incomes face particular barriers as they are more likely to live in communities where smoking rates are high. These smokers often need more support than others to successfully quit.
In Shropshire, ip&e’s Help2Change provides a free stop smoking support programme called Help2Quit. This includes weekly help from a specialist adviser offering behavioural support and medications to assist with quitting. Help2Quit can be accessed at most GP practices, local pharmacies, supermarkets, libraries and other community venues. The services are offered at different days and times to suit individuals.
You can access Help2Quit by phoning Help2Change on 0345 678 9025 or by asking your GP or pharmacist.
Dr Kevin Lewis, Director of Help2Change, said:
“While the health risks of smoking are widely known, the financial impact is often overlooked.
This latest report highlights the cost of smoking to those who can least afford it.
“I’d encourage all smokers thinking of quitting to call our helpline today and take full advantage of the opportunities to quit, that the Help2Quit programme provides.”
Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) was established in 1971 by the Royal College of Physicians. It is a campaigning public health charity that works to eliminate the harm caused by tobacco.