Fresh programme welcomes North East smoking rates falling to new low

The regional programme for tobacco control for the North East has responded to new figures which reveal a further fall in adult smoking in the area.
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Fresh has welcomed the data published by the Office for National Statistics. It shows that adult smoking rates in the North East have fallen from 14.8 per cent in 2021 to 13.1 per cent in 2022.

The overall rate of smoking in adults in England in 2022 was 12.7 per cent. This is down from 13 per cent in 2021.

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Ailsa Rutter, director of Fresh, said: “We welcome another fall in smoking here in the North East down to the lowest rates on record. Smoking has more than halved since 2005 when 29 per cent of adults smoked.

Ailsa Rutter, director of Fresh.Ailsa Rutter, director of Fresh.
Ailsa Rutter, director of Fresh.

“It is credit to partners in our region’s local authorities and the NHS that reducing smoking has been made a top priority. Year round campaigns to raise motivation to quit and ensure smokers have access to support are life-saving.

“We are proud of the collaboration over many years on a comprehensive approach to reducing smoking and our clear vision that smoking needs to become a thing of the past, once and for all.”

But she added: “Smoking is still our number one killer and rates are much higher in key groups like people with serious mental illness. And overall, smoking rates are not falling fast enough.

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“We need more action and more investment at national level through a properly funded new national tobacco control plan if we are going to reach the Government’s own target of reducing adult smoking to five per cent by 2030.”