Wakefield Council pledge action on smokers

cigarette smoking ashtray
cigarette smoking ashtray

Council bosses have pledged action to cut the number of smokers across the city.

Wakefield Council’s cabinet has signed up to a declaration to reduce tobacco use among the population and raise awareness of the health effects of smoking.

The Local Authority Declaration on Tobacco Control is a UK-wide initiative to which councils are invited to sign up on a voluntary basis.

It was launched after local authorities took over responsibility for public health under government NHS reforms.

A report to Tuesday’s cabinet meeting said: “Signing the declaration is a clear statement of intent.

“Wakefield Council has always played a crucial role in tackling smoking through enforcement and other work but now with the public health remit are the most important local institution working to reduce smoking rates.”

Smoking is the biggest cause of premature death in Wakefield and is responsible for half the difference in life expectancy between the richest and poorest.

It is estimated that for every £1 spent on tobacco, less than 10p of the revenue benefits the district economy.

The report added: “The annual cost of smoking to the UK national economy has been estimated at £13.7 billion.

“A smoker consuming a pack of 20 cigarettes a day will spend around £2,500 a year on their habit.”