Smoking claims a life every 21 hours in Gateshead

Smoking remains a big killer in Gateshead. Credit: Niall Carson/PA Wire/PA Images

Gateshead Council has released figures which suggest that one person dies as a result of smoking every 21 hours in Gateshead.

It adds that early deaths due to smoking are costing the NHS around £9m a year in the borough.

And while smoking is decreasing in Gateshead, in line with the national picture, more Gateshead people die from smoking related illness each year than all other causes of death.

Alice Wiseman, Director of Public Health, Gateshead, has now joined forces with Gateshead Council to call for:

  • A new, more robust action plan from the Government, setting out its commitment to addressing the harm caused by tobacco on health, social care, poverty and life chances

  • A levy on tobacco companies to ensure they pay more for the harm they cause

  • A national licensing scheme with the aim of eliminating the illicit and illegal trade in tobacco and to end the selling of tobacco to young people

Says Ms Wiseman: “No other product on shop shelves will kill half the people who buy it. We remain ambitious and committed to making smoking history in Gateshead and we want government to take responsibility for a stronger, more effective national strategy against this major killer.”