Smoking costs Redbridge £4m in social care

PUBLISHED: 13:14 08 February 2017 | UPDATED: 13:49 09 February 2017

Smoking costs Redbridge £m in social care. Pic: PAimages

Smoking costs Redbridge £m in social care. Pic: PAimages

PA Archive/PA Images

The council has called on the government to offer more support after a report showed that more than £4million is spent on social care due to smoking.

Newly published data from Action on Smoking and Health, revealed that smoking costs Redbridge Council £2.2m for social care for current and ex-smokers aged over 50. The smokers themselves pay a further £1.9m.

The public health charity said the problem was contributing to the “current social care crisis” and comes at a time when the government is set to cut the local authority public health grant which pays for stop smoking services. The council has said that it is committed to helping people quit.

To do this the council wants to implement a plan of action which will target heavy smokers and those most at risk of related illnesses. “An action plan is being developed with our provider to implement targeted smoking cessation support to those at the greatest risk,” said a council spokeswoman.

Cllr Mark Santos, cabinet member for health and social care, said the government must provide the council with more support rather than cutting funding. “Addressing the health inequalities caused by smoking requires national and local action,” he said.

“We are playing our part and would ask the government to take their responsibilities seriously.”

A Department of Health spokesman said smoking rates in England were as low as they have ever been, showing “our tough action on smoking ... continues to deliver excellent results for the public”.

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