County welcomes figures showing smoking deaths are down
New figures show smoking-related deaths and hospital admissions are falling.
Leicestershire County Council has welcomed news the county has the second lowest smoking-related illness rates in the region.
New figures from the London Health Observatory show in Leicestershire there were 170 smoking-related deaths per 100,000 people aged 35 and over. This compares to a national average of 210.
There were 1,156 hospital admissions due to smoking per 100,000 people – the second lowest in the region, where the average is 1,438. The national average is 1,420.
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The figures show 17.1 per cent of adults smoke – again, the second lowest figure in the region, which has an overall average of 19.8 per cent. The national average is 20 per cent.
Councillor Ernie White, the county council's cabinet member for health, said: "I'm pleased Leicestershire is making good progress in reducing the harm caused by smoking, but I'm not complacent and we need to do more.
"The message is clear – smoking harms your health and can kill you.
"We're going to do what we can to encourage more people to give up."
Mike Sandys, a consultant in public health for Leicestershire, said: "We have always had a good quality smoking cessation service and, in the last couple of years, we have been doing broader work in helping people not to take up smoking in the first instance."
The work includes work with schools to help change perceptions and reduce the number of young people using tobacco.
Trading standards officials have also been clamping down on the illegal sale of cigarettes.
There is also a campaign to encourage people not to smoke in their homes or cars.