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South Holland smoking figures revealed as Lincolnshire bosses defend help

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Public health chiefs are looking to expand the service that helps smokers to quit their habit - and defended the current system.

The latest available figures show 18.5% of over-18s in South Holland are smokers - the fourth highest in the East Midlands and well above the England average of 14.3%.

The county council says it is working with One You Lincolnshire - the stop smoking service - and the NHS to get extra cash to ‘enhance’ the current system.

The district's smoking rates have been revealed PHOTO iStock
The district's smoking rates have been revealed PHOTO iStock

That would mean ‘tobacco leads’ employed by the NHS in each area to ‘drive this work forward’ and training for staff and help for community services to provide treatment and support.

The news comes after one national study highlighted that there is only one dedicated stop smoking support service for Lincolnshire - compared to multiple in other counties - but bosses said it’s a matter of quality not quantity.

Andy Fox, assistant director for public health, said: “Stopping smoking is one of the best things anyone can do to improve their health. Lincolnshire’s support for people who want to quit smoking is a universal offer – anyone in the county who wants help to quit can get it, free of charge, from One You Lincolnshire, a county-wide stop smoking service as part of a wider Integrated Lifestyle Service.

“The overall quit rate for people accessing stop smoking support in the county is an impressive 56.8% which is well above average.

“It’s not the number of services that matters. Lincolnshire has always had one commissioned stop smoking service, previously through the NHS and then transferred over to the county council and supported by GP practice staff and pharmacy colleagues.

“This has worked effectively for a number of years, met the needs of smokers and ensured countywide provision.”

Public health data shows that almost half the adults in South Holland (49.3%) have never smoked - compared to 61.6% of over-18s in England.

More than a third of the district’s adults - 35.5% - class themselves as ex-smokers (compared to 26.3% in England).

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