Data shows Bedford is super clean living when it comes to smokers

The latest national data has uncovered some pretty astonishing figures
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The latest national data has found that fewer than 1 in 10 Bedford Borough residents are smokers, a meeting heard.

The council’s Health and Wellbeing Board heard on Wednesday (December 7) that residents trying to quit smoking are now offered e-cigarettes as well as traditional nicotine replacement therapies as support.

Ian Brown, chief officer for public health, Bedford Borough Council, said: “There has been recent evidence reviewed to show that e-cigarettes are an effective quit aid.

A couple smoke  cigarettes  (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)A couple smoke  cigarettes  (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
A couple smoke cigarettes (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

“And are particularly effective when they are used alongside a standard smoking cessation support service.

“National data released [this week] showed that for the first time ever fewer than one in ten adults in Bedford are smoking.

“So it’s really great to have this extra tool in our tool kit at this time to help us eradicate smoking in the coming years,” he said.

Phil Taverner, a director at Healthwatch Bedford Borough, asked what efforts are being made to deal with illicit tobacco coming into the area.

Bedford smokers mapBedford smokers map
Bedford smokers map

He added that the cheaper forms of tobacco may make it much easier for people to access and smoke tobacco products.

Mr Brown said he didn’t have the details at hand, but the team is looking to put more capacity into tobacco control.

“And looking at what we can do as a local authority and as a local partnership as well to reduce opportunities to smoke tobacco in the borough,” he said.

“How can we nudge people towards quitting, how can we encourage as many people as can to not take up smoking in the first place?

“We need to do everything to try to understand what facilitated people using tobacco products and illicit tobacco is an important part of that.

“I think we’re seeing interesting patterns now nationally, and presumably locally as well, in terms of a shift away from traditional cigarettes and tobacco products into e-cigarettes and vaping products.

“We know that those products whilst not completely harm-free are much less harmful than smoking tobacco.

“We’re seeing a bit of a generational shift and we see that in working-age adults the popularity of e-cigarettes is growing very rapidly.

“What we need to be very careful of is that they don’t become a product that children and young people see as something that they want to start doing.

“Because obviously it’s much better to have no nicotine addiction at all whether it’s an e-cigarette or a tobacco product

“So we see the role of e-cigarettes as a better alternative, a less harmful alternative, to cigarettes and that’s what we’re promoting through our service.

“But at the same time we need to make sure we’re not drawing more people into nicotine dependency,” he said.

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