West Sussex smokers ‘would not be in poverty if they quit’ county council told

More than 14,000 people in West Sussex would no longer be living in poverty if they gave up smoking, a report to the county council has stated.

Members of the county’s Health and Wellbeing Board will meet on Thursday (October 8), with Tackling Smoking During The Pandemic being one of the main items on the agenda.

The report said one in four of the 87,000 adults who smoke were living in poverty – that’s around 21,750 people.

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With cigarettes costing more than £12 a packet, some 14,500 would rise above the poverty line if they quit the habit.

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The report also placed the health costs of smoking at approximately £196m, with 7,241 smoking-related hospital admissions in one year – though that data appears to be almost ten years old.

One of the most alarming statistics was that almost one in ten pregnant women were smokers when they had their babies.

On top of that, 7 per cent of 15-year-olds regularly smoke  – which is above the England average – and two in five manual workers smoke.

The meeting will be streamed online, starting at 10.30am. Log on to westsussex.moderngov.co.uk for details.

Karen Dunn , Local Democracy Reporting Service