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Swindon hits smoking reduction target as numbers of indoor smokers in South West reach record low at 10th anniversary

30 June 2017

Smoking rates in Swindon have virtually halved over the past 10 years, according to the latest figures from Public Health England.

The figures shown that smoking rates in in the borough have dropped from 29.2% in 2007 to 14.9% in 2016, meaning that Swindon has more than hit its smoking reduction

The smoking ban across England as a whole has helped cut smoking rates as more people have been encouraged to kick the habit in the last ten years, and Swindon has been right behind the Government’s ambitious strategy to reduce smoking prevalence across the country. 

The smoking prevalence rates for 2016 were published on 15 June 2017, and the latest figures record that the smoking prevalence in adults in Swindon in 2016 is 14.9% - below the England average of 15.5%. 

The success story in Swindon reflects the effective Tobacco Control work in Swindon which has already been completed across Swindon. This includes further work on normalising a smokefree lifestyle by introducing a voluntary smoking ban at Swindon bus station, interventions delivered in schools, and offering a range of opportunities to support smokers to quit.

The Swindon Tobacco Control Strategy 2017 – 2022 has recently been published and records the ongoing priorities of tobacco control work in Swindon (Swindon+Tobacco+Control+Strategy+2017 ) These include discouraging young people from taking up smoking, supporting smokers to quit, normalising a smokefree lifestyle and reducing illicit tobacco in the community.

The annual cost of smoking to the NHS is estimated to be £2 billion a year (ASH) while it is estimated that each year in Swindon smoking costs the community some £56 million. This includes the costs of NHS care, social care, passive smoking, household fires and lost productivity.

Cllr Brian Ford, Swindon Borough Council Cabinet Member for Adult Health and Social Care, said:

“Smoking still remains one of the largest threats to public health with one in two people who smoke dying early as a consequence of their addiction. In Swindon over 280 people die each year from smoking related diseases and there are over 1,700 hospital admissions each year due to smoking related diseases. Our vision is to inspire a smokefree Swindon where people live a long and healthy life protected from the harms caused by tobacco, so these figures are good news for us. I am pleased that we have achieved Pledge 30 of the SBC Vision – ‘to reduce smoking prevalence to less than the England average’ “. 

For support to quit smoking you can contact the Council’s Community Health and Wellbeing team on 01793 465513 or go to health_and_wellbeing/217/stop_smoking

‘Stop smoking’ support is also provided by a range of GPs and pharmacies across Swindon.  

  1. Data on smoking rates from Public Health England - Local Tobacco Control Profiles for England
  2. Cost of smoking to the NHS – ASH Factsheets: Tobacco Economics and Cost of smoking to social care system in England – Action on Smoking and Health (ASH)
  3. Public attitudes to smoking – ASH and YouGov ‘Smokefree Survey 2017’.