A new analysis finds that 1,203 children would start smoking every year in North East Lincolnshire if children were still smoking at 1990s levels when around 1 in 5 under 16s smoked. Since then national rates have dropped to around 1 in 20.
Rates of smoking have fallen among children for many reasons including the increasingly tough regulation of tobacco introduced over the last two decades. However, an important factor in children taking up smoking is whether their parents smoke and falling rates of adult smoking have been and important driver for change. And while smoking rates have fallen, it is currently estimated that 429 children start smoking each year in North East Lincolnshire and two thirds of those experimenting with smoking go on to become daily smokers.
That is why North East Lincolnshire Council is reaching out to parents and those thinking of becoming parents with the message that today is the day to quit.
Wayne Gould, Specialist Stop Smoking Practitioner at the Wellbeing Service said:
“It is tremendous to see the drop in the numbers of children taking up smoking locally but we want to get that number down to zero and that means helping more parents who smoke to stop.
“Most parents know they need to protect their children from the harms of secondhand smoke but many will not realise the influence their smoking can have over their child’s habits in the future.
“We’re saying to parents that today is the day. We all want to live healthier lives right now and for smokers there is no better place to start than quitting.”
Access free local information, support, and guidance on quitting and medications by calling the Wellbeing Service on 01472 325500.