Thursday, October 6, 2022

Concerns over high level of smoking in Thurrock

THURROCK has one of the highest levels of tobacco smoking in the UK, it has been revealed.

Thurrock councillors are set to get to grips with the problem, one of the main causes of preventable deaths across the country.

Councillors on the health and wellbeing board will next week discuss a strategy for dealing with the issue.

The Tobacco Control Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) has been developed to gain an understanding of the scale and impact of tobacco use and harm in Thurrock, and the effectiveness of Thurrock’s current tobacco control strategy.

A report to councillors said: “The JSNA identifies harm and opportunities for improvement across the population; however, its focus is on priority groups where there is either higher smoking prevalence, such as people living in more deprived wards and people living with mental ill health, or groups where the health benefits of quitting smoking are greatest, such as women during pregnancy.

“The JSNA aims to identify aspects of the current tobacco control strategy for Thurrock that are working well and areas where improvements could be made, especially to reduce tobacco related harm for priority groups.”

Smoking is the main cause of preventable and premature deaths in England and is the largest single contributor to health inequalities. Smoking accounts for half the difference in life expectancy in England between those living in the most and least deprived communities.

The JSNA said: “Thurrock still has one of the highest smoking prevalence rates in England and there remains a high level of inequality in prevalence by level of deprivation and among people with poor mental health.”

Their strategy will include encouraging people to attempt to quit through support from front line services, local employers and voluntary and organisations. A campaign will aim to prevent uptake among children and young people.

Thurrock Council’s health and wellbeing board will discuss the issue on Thursday.

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