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York smokers cost the NHS £54.9 million
9:17am Tuesday 19th June 2012 in Health & Wellbeing
SMOKING in York costs the city an estimated £54.9 million a year, new figures have claimed.
According to NHS North Yorkshire and York, that is the total cost linked to the 35,200 smokers in York, covering everything from medical care to picking up cigarette ends from the streets.
In North Yorkshire, the estimated population of smokers is 97,600 costing about £152.3 million. However it is understood the figures do not account for the tens of millions in tax on cigarettes which smokers pay into Government coffers every year.
The figures also show York saw 299 smoking-related deaths in 2011, while North Yorkshire had 1,044.
The Department of Health now wants people in our region to have their say on the introduction of plain tobacco packaging – a move designed to prevent young people being lured into starting smoking.
Katie Needham, public health consultant at NHS North Yorkshire and York, said: “There is strong evidence that plain packaging on tobacco products can reduce smoking in under-18s which means we can potentially stop people getting addicted to smoking in the first place.
“Tobacco use remains one of the most significant challenges to public health across the UK. It is the primary cause of preventable and premature death, accounting each year for over 100,000 deaths across the country.”
The consultation runs until July 10 and can be found at consultations.dh.gov.uk
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