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845 more children would have started smoking in Gateshead each year if smoking rates had remained at 1990s levels

No smoking

A new analysis by Action on Smoking and Health finds that 845 more children would start smoking in Gateshead every year if children were still smoking at 1990s levels when around 1 in 5 under 16s smoked.

Since then national rates have dropped to around 1 in 20. It is currently estimated that 468 children start smoking each year in Gateshead. That is still 468 too many as two thirds of those experimenting with smoking go on to become daily smokers. 

In the 1990s you could still buy cigarettes at 16, health warnings on cigarette packs were barely visible, and tobacco was heavily promoted on billboards and sponsored TV sporting events.  

The steep drop since 90's has followed successive Government strategies to tackle smoking over the last two decades.  However, it is still estimated that nationally around 103,000 children start smoking every year or 280 a day.

That is why Gateshead Council's Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, Councillor Gary Haley, is backing the Roadmap laid out by the Smokefree Action Coalition on how to achieve the Government's ambition of a Smokefree 2030. A YouGov poll for Action on Smoking and Health found that 76% of people in the North East support this ambition.

The Roadmap calls for a range of measures to drive down smoking rates in the future chief among which is a levy on tobacco companies to fund the vital work needed to prevent children from taking up smoking and help smokers to quit.  

Councillor Gary Haley said: 

"Action to reduce smoking over the last two decades has had a hugely positive impact on children living in Gateshead today. However, there is still work to be done and the Government must commit to further national action if we're to realise the ambition of a smokefree country and a healthier Gateshead by 2030."

Ailsa Rutter OBE, Director of Fresh, said: "In the North East we have suffered the most with heavier smoking rates and an appalling rate of smoking related diseases. There is a point when we have to say enough is enough. Like leopards, tobacco companies don't change their spots. Tobacco companies make huge profits - at least £1 billion a year in the UK alone- from an addiction which not only robs smokers of many years of life but also costs communities, families, every GP surgery, every local authority, every hospital and is a major driver of poverty. They should be made to pay for prevention."

 

No smoking
29 July 2020

A new analysis by Action on Smoking and Health finds that 845 more children would start smoking in Gateshead every year if children were still smoking at 1990s levels when around 1 in 5 under 16s smoked.

Since then national rates have dropped to around 1 in 20. It is currently estimated that 468 children start smoking each year in Gateshead. That is still 468 too many as two thirds of those experimenting with smoking go on to become daily smokers. 

In the 1990s you could still buy cigarettes at 16, health warnings on cigarette packs were barely visible, and tobacco was heavily promoted on billboards and sponsored TV sporting events.  

The steep drop since 90's has followed successive Government strategies to tackle smoking over the last two decades.  However, it is still estimated that nationally around 103,000 children start smoking every year or 280 a day.

That is why Gateshead Council's Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, Councillor Gary Haley, is backing the Roadmap laid out by the Smokefree Action Coalition on how to achieve the Government's ambition of a Smokefree 2030. A YouGov poll for Action on Smoking and Health found that 76% of people in the North East support this ambition.

The Roadmap calls for a range of measures to drive down smoking rates in the future chief among which is a levy on tobacco companies to fund the vital work needed to prevent children from taking up smoking and help smokers to quit.  

Councillor Gary Haley said: 

"Action to reduce smoking over the last two decades has had a hugely positive impact on children living in Gateshead today. However, there is still work to be done and the Government must commit to further national action if we're to realise the ambition of a smokefree country and a healthier Gateshead by 2030."

Ailsa Rutter OBE, Director of Fresh, said: "In the North East we have suffered the most with heavier smoking rates and an appalling rate of smoking related diseases. There is a point when we have to say enough is enough. Like leopards, tobacco companies don't change their spots. Tobacco companies make huge profits - at least £1 billion a year in the UK alone- from an addiction which not only robs smokers of many years of life but also costs communities, families, every GP surgery, every local authority, every hospital and is a major driver of poverty. They should be made to pay for prevention."

 

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