Sunderland will not become a smoking-free city until after 2050, says new report

Sunderland will take more than 30 years to eradicate smoking, says a new report.

Monday, 16th September 2019, 06:00 am
Updated Monday, 16th September 2019, 10:33 am
Sunderland might not be smoke-free until 2050

Research conducted by Frontier Economics, commissioned by Philip Morris Limited (PML), and released today, predicts there will be a gap of almost 30 years separating the first and last parts of England to go smoke-free.

The findings also show the Government will miss its “smoke free” target of 2030 by almost a decade.

An interactive “unsmoking” map, which can be found at https://www.smokefreefuture.co.uk/UNSMOKE-England, shows the areas of England predicted to go smoke-free first and those forecast still to be smoking after 2050:

● London is set to lead the way, followed by Manchester, Sheffield and Liverpool take the top three spots.

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● Redcar and Cleveland and North Tyneside take the top spots for the North East – both set to go smoke-free in 2030. But Sunderland joins Stockton, Gateshead and South Tyneside as the areas which are not expected to go smoke-free until after 2050.

● More than one in five local authorities in England will not be smoke-free until after 2050.

● Half of local authorities in England will still have smoking rates above the Government’s 5% target by 2030.

The report predicts that the Government will miss its “smoke-free” goal of 2030 by around a decade, unless further action is taken.

Mark MacGregor, Director of External Affairs at PML, said: “Over 4 million smokers need to be persuaded to quit altogether or switch to a less harmful alternative if the Government is to realise its smoke-free ambition.

“Critical to achieving that goal will be ensuring smokers in Sunderland have the facts about alternatives, like e-cigarettes and heated tobacco. Currently, too many smokers believe that the alternatives are as harmful as smoking or are simply unaware they exist.”

The report found that, since 2012, smoking in England has declined at almost twice the rate between 1993 and 2011, likely due in part to greater use of e-cigarettes.However, despite there being 3.2 million e-cigarette users in Great Britain, the growth of vaping is now slowing. Data from ASH indicates that there were only 300,000 new vapers in 2018 in Great Britain in 2018, compared with 800,000 in 2014.