North Cumbria doesn’t have any dedicated local stop-smoking support service despite containing more than 40,000 smokers, according to new research.

These findings have been uncovered by online retailer Vapekit as part of a study into the level of smoking cessation support within England.

In conducting the study, Vapekit looked at smoker data from every Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) in England from 2020/21, encompassing all smokers aged over 15.

This data was then benchmarked against the number of local stop-smoking support services within each area, and each area was ranked according to its support-service-to-smoker-ratio.

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A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: "Tackling public health issues such as smoking is a priority for the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities and a key part of the government’s levelling-up agenda.

"This is why we launched the independent review of our bold ambition to make England smoke-free by 2030.

"This review provides independent, evidence-based advice on potential interventions that will inform our approach to tackling the stark health disparities associated with tobacco use."

Despite the fact that it contains 43,535 smokers, the area covered by North Cumbria CCG was one of only 12 CCG areas out of 135 in England not to have a single ‘dedicated local’ stop smoking support service.

That is, an allocated service staffed by expert advisers who can provide regular, tailored one-to-one support over a long period. 

When North Cumbria is compared with every other area of England that contains a CCG, it’s the fourth-worst area of the country in terms of the number of smokers versus the number of local stop smoking support services.

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Furthermore, adults living in north Cumbria with long-term mental health conditions are twice as likely to smoke as the wider population, according to recent figures from the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities.

Smoking remains the single biggest preventable cause of death in the UK, leading to the loss of around 78,000 people each year.

It costs the NHS £3.6 billion in medical and social care, compared to £17 billion for society, £5 billion higher than previously estimated.