Smoking and tobacco control

For many people smoking is a chronic and relapsing addiction, which generally begins in childhood, and is not a lifestyle choice. Smoking is still the greatest cause of ill-health and early death in Nottingham City. Significantly reducing smoking prevalence will: improve health outcomes, support poverty reduction, deliver higher productivity, give babies and children a better start in life, reduce health and social care costs and cut crime by dealing with the illegal tobacco trade.

For many people smoking is a chronic and relapsing addiction, which generally begins in childhood, and is not a lifestyle choice. Smoking is still the greatest cause of ill-health and early death in Nottingham City. Significantly reducing smoking prevalence will: improve health outcomes, support poverty reduction, deliver higher productivity, give babies and children a better start in life, reduce health and social care costs and cut crime by dealing with the illegal tobacco trade.

Tobacco imposes a significant economic burden on society. In addition to the direct medical costs of treating tobacco-induced illnesses there are other indirect costs including loss of productivity, fire damage and environmental harm from cigarette litter and destructive farming practices. Each year it is estimated that smoking costs Nottingham about £137M; this includes £115M in lost productivity; £12M in healthcare costs; and £6.82M in costs to social care.

There are other costs of tobacco use too. Cigarettes and other smoking materials are one of the leading causes of fatal accidental fires in the home. Furthermore, cigarette butts make up a significant amount of litter items with the majority of cigarette filters being non-biodegradable and thus have a lasting environmental impact.

We will also consider Shisha; a tobacco-based product that is smoked through a water bowl. There are a number of health issues regarding shisha use. A common misconception is that smoking shisha is healthier than smoking cigarettes – there is a lack of understanding about the harm smoking shisha can cause.

Evidence suggests that there are significant levels of cannabis use among people who classify themselves as non-smokers and a significant proportion of tobacco smokers who also smoke cannabis weekly. Long term smokers of cannabis have an increased risk of many of the same diseases that tobacco smokers do. As such, we have decided to consider cannabis smoking within scope for this strategy.

Click here to read more insight and background into smoking and tobacco control.