Rise in smokers in Redbridge hospitalised last year
- Credit: PA
More people in Redbridge went to hospital as a result of smoking last year, new figures published for the first time show.
Professor Chris Whitty, the chief medical officer for England, has previously warned that smokers are also at greater risk from coronavirus.
Data from Public Health England shows there were 1,275 admissions to hospital attributable to smoking in Redbridge in 2018-19 – an 8pc rise on the year before.
Over the 11-year period, 14,000 people were hospitalised.
The figures only include admissions for diseases that are wholly or partially attributed to smoking for people over 35.
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They suggest that 1pc of over-35s in Redbridge were admitted to hospital because of smoking last year.
Cllr Mark Santos, cabinet member for health, social care, mental health and ageing, said: “Smoking remains the main cause of preventable poor health.
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“Giving up smoking significantly improves your own health and creates a healthier environment for those around you, as well as reducing pressure on our health and social care system.”
He said the council has commissioned a smoking cessation service, delivered by Everyone Health Ltd to support smokers to quit, in conjunction with a Redbridge-wide campaign.
A smoke-free zone in Ilford town centre was introduced last month.
Hazel Cheeseman, director of policy at Action on Smoking and Health said: “Most smokers start smoking as children and try many times to quit. Smokers are more likely to get sick, develop complications and take longer to recover than non-smokers.
“This places a real burden on the NHS.”
Advice from Public Health England says that high rates of smoking attributable admissions are indicative of poor population health and high smoking prevalence.
Speaking to MPs earlier this month, Professor Whitty said “For most respiratory infections, you worry about people who smoke a bit more. They’re more likely to get it and their immune system is less good.”