Northumberland has the lowest rate of smoking-related deaths in North East - but region is highest in UK
Northumberland has the lowest rate of smoking-related deaths in the North East, according to figures released this week.
The latest report on smoking statistics in England, which was published on July 2 by NHS Digital, reveals the estimated smoking-attributable mortality rates per 100,000 population from 2015 to 2017 (age 35-plus).
This figure was 277 in Northumberland, one of only two local authority areas in the region to be below the 300 mark, the other being Darlington (296).
This is above the national average of 263, but well below the North East rate of 344 (the highest of all English regions) and the area’s high of 415 in Middlesbrough.
Manchester had the highest rate with 482 per 100,000 population, followed by Hull (475), and Blackpool (450). The lowest rates were in Harrow (149), Wokingham (166), and Rutland (181).
For smoking-related hospital admissions, Northumberland’s rate (1,802) is once more above England’s (1,530), but below the region’s (2,221).
This time Northumberland had the second lowest rate, behind Darlington in first place.
The new figures show in total, 12.1% of the adult population in Northumberland were smokers in 2018, below the UK and English averages – 14.7% and 14.4% respectively.
In the 2018-19 financial year, 335 pregnant women still smoked at the point of delivery in Northumberland – a rate of 13.6% against a national average of 10.6% and a regional rate of 15.5%. The national ambition is 6%.
From 16.6% in 2013-14, Northumberland’s figure fell to 12.9% in 2016-17, but has risen again in the past two years.
These rates, recorded by NHS clinical commissioning group area, varied from 1.6% in NHS West London to 25.7% in NHS Blackpool.
Coun Ian Hudspeth, chairman of the Local Government Association’s community wellbeing board, said: “Smoking is still the leading cause of preventable death, responsible for 77,800 deaths a year. On top of that, there are 489,300 hospital admissions each year that can be attributed to conditions caused by smoking.”
He added: “Councils are re-evaluating what they do on smoking cessation and tobacco control and how to be more effective, for example, reaching out to smokers with the greatest need such as routine and manual workers, pregnant smokers and those with mental illness.”