LGA responds to ASH report on a million smokers quitting due to coronavirus

“Councils’ public health teams are working hard to continue to reduce smoking rates in their areas, alongside local charities and community groups, and these latest findings are a testament to their efforts."


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Responding to a new report by Action on Smoking and Health, about how a million people in the UK have stopped smoking since the pandemic began due to concerns over coronavirus, Cllr Paulette Hamilton, Vice Chair of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board, said:

“Smokers are at particular risk of COVID-19 and it is inspiring to see that a million people have quit the habit for good.

“It is also encouraging that we are seeing younger people giving up smoking earlier on in life, but this needs to be replicated across all age groups.

“Councils’ public health teams are working hard to continue to reduce smoking rates in their areas, alongside local charities and community groups, and these latest findings are a testament to their efforts.

“We need to continue to support people to give up smoking altogether, both through the current crisis and beyond, if we are to save lives in the immediate and longer-term.

“This includes reaching out to those most in need, including preventing children from taking up the habit and developing further health problems later in life, relieving pressure on other services such as the NHS, social care and welfare.

“Councils can help the Government to achieve its ambition of eliminating smoking in England by 2030, through their tobacco control and other public health and support services, but need certainty over their long-term funding to help do so.”

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The LGA represents more than 330 councils of all types across England. We work on behalf of our members to support, promote and improve local government.

It is councils who had led communities through the COVID-19 crisis. Our recent polling shows that 71 per cent of residents trust their council and two thirds are satisfied with the way their local council runs things in their area. Our new discussion paper - Re-thinking Local - sets out how councils must now be empowered to locally-lead the COVID-19 recovery and tackle the economic, environmental and community challenges that we will face as a result of the pandemic.