Smoking costs North Lincolnshire £149m a year, figures reveal

People, Health and Care
11:06, Monday, 13th May 2024

The cost of smoking to North Lincolnshire in productivity, healthcare, social care and fires has been estimated at £149m a year, new figures from Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) reveal.

The Director of Public Health for Northern Lincolnshire, Diane Lee, says the figures show the urgent need to help people kick the habit and Cllr David Rose has called for tobacco to be phased out as soon as possible.

Most of the cost is the impact on local productivity at £83.1 million.

Smoking undermines the health of working age people, with some dying before retirement.

It also costs the local economy jobs, as most of the money spent on tobacco leaves the local economy. If smokers switched their spending to other goods and services more jobs are created.

Other costs included:
• Healthcare costs: £7.4 million
• Social care costs (including the cost of un-met care needs and informal carers): £57.2 million
• Smoking related fires: £1.29 million

These costs far outweigh what local smokers are contributing in tax revenue, estimated to be £26.3 million from North Lincolnshire per year.

Cabinet member for public health improvement Cllr David Rose said: “It’s staggering to see the cost of tobacco to our area.

“Considering both the financial impact on local economies and the personal impact on all the people who are housebound and unable to work due to smoking related illness, the now is the time to protect our future generations from being trapped into addiction by this uniquely lethal product.

“The sooner tobacco is phased out, the better.”

Diane Lee, Director of Public Health for Northern Lincolnshire, said: “The need for action is clear, tobacco cannot be allowed to continue taking lives, money, and services from our communities.

“The pressure that it puts on our systems is immense, and most importantly the people who suffer ill health because of tobacco are not to blame – they have been enticed into using a highly addictive product, generally at a young age, and the majority want to stop.

“Tobacco is the leading cause of preventable death, causing cancer, cardio-vascular disease, and respiratory conditions such as COPD and emphysema, among others.”

Deputy Chief Executive of ASH, Hazel Cheeseman said: “Local communities pay the price for the profits made by the tobacco industry. The impact is much greater than anything smokers are paying in taxes.

“Smoking costs lives but it also damages our economy and weakens our public services.

“Passing legislation to protect the next generation from the harms smoking causes cannot come quickly enough.”

It’s never too late to stop smoking, and with help you’re three times more likely to quit for good.

If you would like help to stop smoking or are an employer who would like support for your team, please get in touch with North Lincolnshire Healthy Lifestyle Service  or phone 01724 298212.