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Town hall backs fight against tobacco
11:00am Thursday 26th September 2013 in News
ST HELENS Council has become the first in Merseyside to sign a pledge to cut smoking in the borough.
At a full council meeting last week, members signed the Local Authority Declaration on Tobacco, supporting the lead of Manchester, Salford and Newcastle City Councils and Warwickshire County Council.
In St Helens, smoking costs the local economy an estimated £48m a year – including £14.4m from early deaths, £19m in lost productivity and sickness absence, £9.5m in NHS costs and £3m in cleaning and smoking related fires.
Smokers in St Helens also spend around £52m a year on tobacco products.
It means a couple with a 20-a-day habit can see up to £5,000 a year go up in smoke.
St Helens Council Leader Barrie Grunewald said: “We simply can’t ignore the facts – and they are that tobacco kills around 80,000 people a year nationally, compared with 2,000 deaths due to road traffic accidents.
“Reducing smoking rates is one of our priorities – tobacco is still the lifestyle factor with the biggest impact in St Helens.
“Many young people are still taking up the habit.”
The move has been endorsed by the St Helens Health and Wellbeing Board.
Stop smoking advice is available on 01744 814837, or from smoking email@example.com
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