A better Medway
Published: Thursday, 4th July 2019

The number of smokers in Medway has reduced by more than 10 per cent in the last six years.

In Medway, significantly fewer people are smoking compared to six years ago, it is estimated that there are 21,000 less smokers than there were in 2012. 

The number of people smoking in Medway has reduced from 25.5 per cent in 2012 to 14.7 per cent in 2018, a reduction of 10.8 per cent. Nationally, smoking prevalence has dropped by 4.9 per cent, from 19.3 per cent in 2012 to 14.4 per cent in 2018.

Cigarettes contain more than 4,000 chemicals, as well as carbon monoxide, and smoking is the leading cause of preventable illness and premature death in the UK.

Medway Council’s A Better Medway team works with smokers to help them stub out the habit. They offer free support and advice to residents who want to quit including one to one specialist support, using a free quit smoking app and a text to quit messaging service. The new digital services help local residents with busy lifestyles stop smoking any time and in any place. Over the last six years A Better Medway has helped 11,500 people give up smoking.

The number of women smoking during pregnancy is also falling - the number of women smoking at the time of delivery in 2017 was 17.4 per cent, and in 2018 it had dropped to 15.9 per cent.

The council also offers a range of information and support for expectant mothers including free nicotine replacement therapy and tailored one-to-one support. Help is available six days a week at various locations across Medway through community-based clinics, pharmacies, GP surgeries and home visits. Partners and other family members are also welcome to attend the support sessions. The council understands the challenges women face when trying to quit smoking and the service is tailored to meet individual women’s needs.

Continuing to support residents give up smoking

Cllr David Brake, Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder covering Public Health, said: “It’s great news that thousands of local residents have given up smoking over the last six years. Smoking is responsible for 16 per cent of all deaths in people aged 35 and above. We are committed to continuing to support residents who wish to give up smoking and live healthier lifestyles. I would encourage smokers who wish to stub out the habit to contact our stop smoking service for support.”

Find out more about Medway's stop smoking services in Medway and visit the Smokefree Advice Centre in Railway Street, Chatham, between 10am and 5pm Monday to Friday and between 10am and 1pm on Saturdays.

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