North Warwickshire has county's highest smoking rate

Survey says Nuneaton and Bedworth and Rugby boroughs also above average

It was National No Smoking Day on Wednesday March 9
It was National No Smoking Day on Wednesday March 9

It was National No Smoking Day this week - on Wednesday - with the latest figures showing the rates of smoking are higher in the north and east of the county.

The overall rate for the county is just below the national average at 13.3 per cent, compared with the national figure of 13.9 per cent.

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But County Cllr Margaret Bell, portfolio holder for adult social care and health, said: “Whilst Warwickshire smoking rates are in line with the rest of the country, they are higher in north of the county particularly in North Warwickshire (15.1 per cent), Nuneaton and Bedworth (14.5 per cent) and Rugby (14.3 per cent).

“We understand that quitting smoking can be hard, tobacco is an addictive substance, but support is available for you whether you prefer face to face support through the stop smoking service or digital support via your phone or device.

“Once you quit, your body not only begins to feel the benefits immediately, but you are also helping those around you who are no longer breathing in second-hand smoke. For more support and advice about quitting smoking visit quit4good.”

It’s estimated the average smoker takes 30 quit attempts to succeed and the quit4good website details where and how to access stop smoking services in the county. Digital support is available through the NHS stop smoking app, providing daily support and tracking to monitor progress.

A county council spokesman said the benefits of quitting smoking begin immediately, the sooner you stop the greater the health gains but whenever you stop your health will benefit. After 48 hours of quitting smoking all carbon monoxide is flushed out of the body and after one year the risk of a heart attack is halved compared with a smoker.

Within Coventry and Warwickshire 9.4 per cent of pregnant women smoke, which is higher than the England rate of pregnant women smoking (9.1 per cent). Smoking during pregnancy brings a greater risk of developing various complications during pregnancy, birth and beyond. Quitting smoking can reduce the risk of miscarriage and premature birth.

For those who are pregnant and thinking about quitting, there is lots of support to help along the way either online or through a midwife. Quit4Baby Warwickshire is a service that can help people to quit during pregnancy.

The benefits of stopping smoking go beyond health. Smoking is also the single biggest cause of accidental fires in the home, often because of people being careless when smoking in bed or not taking care extinguishing their cigarettes properly after drinking alcohol.

Cllr Andy Crump, portfolio holder for fire & rescue and community safety added: “Cigarettes and smoking paraphernalia such as lighters can cause deadly housefires. Please dispose of cigarettes in a safe manner and never throw hot cigarettes into a bin. Make sure to use a proper ashtray on a surface that is unlikely to be knocked and soak the butts in water before disposing.

"A working smoke alarm on every floor of a property can provide vital escape time in the circumstances of a house fire. The safest way to reduce the fire risk to your family and home is to stop smoking.”