World No Tobacco Day 2020, on Sunday 31 May, highlights the negative effect smoking has on young people and exposes the tactics used by the tobacco industry.
A new analysis of national figures, calculated by Cancer Research UK and Imperial College London, show that 279 children, aged 11-15, start smoking each year in Warrington, with two in three going on to become daily smokers.
Cllr Maureen McLaughlin, cabinet member for public health and wellbeing, said: “The way the tobacco industry targets and manipulates people is deeply concerning – and especially so where it affects children and young people.
“These figureshighlight how essential it is that the government delivers on its ambition for England to be smoke-free by 2030, so future generations can grow up healthier and with fewer smoking related illnesses, which can be detrimental to health.
“Smoking is the leading cause of preventable premature death in Warrington, killing 282 people a year, and we want to ensure that our children grow up free from addiction to tobacco.
“Children whose parents smoke are nearly three times as likely to become smokers themselves, highlighting the importance of doing more to help adults quit too. Roughly one in 10 people in Warrington smoke, with 282 people dying from smoking each year. The best thing any smoker can do for their health and wellbeing is to quit, to protect themselves and others from life threatening diseases, and reduce the impact of smoking on health and social care services.”
Support for people to stop smoking is available through the LiveWire’s SmokeFree scheme. Visit livewirewarrington.co.uk/lifestyle/stop-smoking for more information or call 0300 300 0818.
Notes to editors
- Methodology: Calculated by the Cancer Intelligence Team at Cancer Research UK, December 2019, using Smoking, Drinking and Drug Use in Young People in England 2016 and 2018 data. Figures represent the average number of children per year between 2016 and 2018. Percentage of new smokers was calculated for each single-year age band, and ‘smoker’ was defined as ‘regular’, ‘occasional’ or ‘used to smoke’. For example, percentage of new smokers aged 13 in 2018, was calculated by subtracting the percentage of smokers aged 12 in 2017, and from the percentage of smokers aged 13 in 2018. This calculation was used for ages 12, 13, 14 and 15; for age 11 all smokers were considered new smokers. 2017 figures were estimated as the average of 2016 and 2018, as no 2017 survey was carried out. Percentage of new smokers in England was applied to UK population estimates to obtain the number of new UK smokers. The 2014-18 trend in estimated number of new child smokers in the UK each year was projected forward to obtain estimates for 2019-21. Breakdown to local level carried out by academics from Imperial College London.
- Two thirds of children who smoke go on to be regular smokers according to a study by Birge M, Duffy S, Miler JA, Hajek P. What proportion of people who try one cigarette become daily smokers? A meta-analysis of representative surveys. Nicotine Tob Res. 2018 Nov 15;20(12):1427-1433. doi: 10.1093/ntr/ntx243
- SmokeFree England by 2030 – Department of Health and Social Care: Advancing our health: prevention in the 2020s.
- Children whose parents smoke are nearly three times as likely to become smokers themselves according to Leonardi-Bee J, Jere ML, Britton J. Exposure to parental and sibling smoking and the risk of smoking uptake in childhood and adolescence: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Thorax February 2011.
- Local data: Public Health England Local Tobacco Profiles
- In the North West is was found ‘The majority of adults in the North West supports increasing the age of sale for tobacco from 18 to 21, with few opposing it. There is good evidence that raising the age of sale of tobacco to 21 will have a substantial positive impact on public health and save lives.’ Source: ash.org.uk/North-West-public-opinion-2020