District’s youth smoking rate above average

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News

New figures that estimate the rate of smoking among young people place the North Kesteven district as above the national average.

The data comes from a study commissioned by Public Health England and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence.

Acccording to the study, an estimated 14.34 per cent (or about one in seven) of the district’s 15-year-olds smoke regularly or occasionally.

This compares to a national average of 12.71 per cent, with the highest figure overall being 18.09 per cent in Norwich.

The data is intended to help local organisations respond to high levels of smoking within their areas and has been added to Public Health England’s Local Health website, an online tool which allows the public to learn more about standards of health in their area.

Responding to the figures, Teresa Roche, consultant in Public Health, part of Lincolnshire County Council, said: “We run a targeted programme working with young people who are likely to smoke.

“For example, we work with pupil referral units and with professionals working with young people who are not in employment, education and training to raise awareness and challenge perceptions around smoking.

“We provide free education resources and lesson guides for professionals too.

“Through the programme over 441 young people have achieved an accredited award which covers topics such as why people smoke, what’s in a cigarette, tobacco laws and the dangers of fake 
cigarettes.”

The estimates were modelled by the University of Portsmouth and the University of Southampton.

They can be broken down by local authority, ward and local NHS level and based on factors which are thought to predict smoking in young people.