Counting the cost of smoking

No smoking

New figures show that the cost of smoking-related social care to Calderdale Council is over £3 million per year.

Last year, smoking killed 78,000 people in England. But the cost of smoking doesn’t stop there – for every person killed by smoking, at least 30 people live with a serious smoking-related illness.

Smoking is the main cause of preventable ill health and premature death in the UK and a major contributing factor for many diseases, such as lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and heart disease. It is also associated with cancers in other organs, including lip, mouth, throat, bladder, kidney, stomach, liver and cervix.

Many smokers who become ill require extra support in the form of social care to help them complete everyday activities. A new research report from the charity Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) found that the cost of this care to local councils is £720 million a year.

In Calderdale, just over 25,300 residents (15.5% of the population) are smokers, which is above the national average. Figures from the ASH report show that over 100 people aged 50 or over in the borough receive social care support as a direct result of smoking, costing the Council approximately £3 million each year.

The good news is that the risk of developing smoking-related illnesses decreases the sooner smokers decide to quit. The health benefits are felt straight away and within six months of stopping, the risk of heart attack, cancer and other smoking diseases begins to fall.

Calderdale Council funds and supports Yorkshire Smokefree Calderdale, the borough’s local stop smoking service, to support people and help them to quit successfully. Practical advice and access to medication to help to quit can be given in person, on the telephone or online with specialist support also available.

It’s never too late to give up and people are three times more likely to successfully quit with support.

Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Health and Cohesion, Cllr Faisal Shoukat, said:

“Smoking can have devastating consequences on individuals and their families and this report shows the long-term consequences, both personally and financially, of these entirely avoidable conditions.


“I’d encourage anyone thinking about quitting to use the free support available through Yorkshire Smokefree Calderdale. It’s also not too late to take part in this year’s Stoptober challenge – why not join thousands of others on the same journey to a smoke-free future?”

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