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Greater Manchester Mayor plans huge cuts to smoking rates

Greater Manchester has a higher smoking rate than the average for England Photo: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire/PA Images

The Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, is setting out plans to cut smoking rates across the region by a third. Mr Burnham is launching a public consultation with NHS leaders which he hopes will be the largest ever public engagement about tobacco harm. People are being asked for their views about plans to cut the number of smokers in Greater Manchester by 115,000 over the next three years. Proposals will include extending smoke-free areas and licensing of tobacco retailers.

Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham Credit: PA

According to NHS figures, 18.4% of people in Greater Manchester are smokers, compared with 15.5% across England. There were 28,910 smoking-related hospital admissions in Greater Manchester in 2016/17, with a £50m cost to the NHS. Half of all smokers will die of a smoking-related illness.

"While the numbers of young people taking up smoking has reduced drastically over the past ten years, we still have too many smoking and starting to smoke. We plan to deliver a tobacco-free generation with our communities. Smoking is everyone's business. The harm from tobacco affects our whole society, from the pain and suffering of individuals and their families to the preventable costs to the economy and public services."

– Sarah Price, Director of Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership

People are being invited to complete the survey by visiting www.historymakersgm.co.uk