Rise in number of smokers across West Lindsey

More people have taken up smoking in West Lindsey over the past year, figures suggest, with the proportion of smokers higher than the UK average.

Campaign group Action on Smoking and Health says smoking remains the leading cause of premature death in the UK, and that there is a long way to go before the country is truly smoke-free.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) estimates 15.5 per cent of adults in West Lindsey smoked in 2019.

This was an increase on the year before, when 13.3 per cent of those aged 18 and over smoked.

The number of smokers in West Lindsey has risen in the last year

It was a different picture across the rest of the UK, where the proportion of smokers has fallen every year since 2011, reaching a record low of 14.1 per cent in 2019.

Across England, the rate now stands at 13.9 per cent – the lowest of all four countries in the UK.

Deborah Arnott, chief executive of ASH, said: “The year-on-year decline in the proportion of people smoking has continued so only one in seven people now smoke, the lowest ever recorded.

"But that means there are 6.9 million smokers, and smoking remains the leading cause of premature death in the UK killing nearly 100,000 people a year, with 30 times as many living with serious smoking-related diseases.

"We’ve still got a long way to go before this country is truly smoke-free.”

The ONS estimates a further 25.5 per cent of adults have quit smoking in West Lindsey, with the remaining 59 per cent saying they had never done so.

Women were more likely to smoke than men – 16.7 per cent of females were smokers, compared to 14.3 per cent of males.

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesman said England's smoking rate of 13.9 per cent was one of the best in Europe, but is still short of the Government's 2017 Tobacco control plan of 12 per cent or less.

They added: “The UK is recognised internationally for its tough regulatory approach on tobacco control and reducing smoking harms.

“However, we are not complacent and our ambition is for England to become a smoke-free society by 2030.”