Compared to other council areas in the North West, Cheshire West and Chester performs well on key smoking indicators, for example overall adult smoking rates are the lowest in the region at 11.7 per cent. However, this rate is not uniform across Cheshire West and Chester. For example:
- Smoking rates reach 25 per cent in Blacon, Ellesmere Port and Winsford amongst people living on lower incomes
- 10 per cent of women smoke throughout pregnancy
- 39 per cent of people with severe mental illness smoke
- 5 per cent of 15 year olds are already regular smokers
Approximately 31,320 adults and 2,450 young people under the age of 18 smoke in Cheshire West and Chester. One third of all adult smokers work in routine and manual occupations. With these figures in mind, it is clear that strategic action on tobacco dependence is necessary to advance the aims of the Health and Wellbeing Strategy - reducing health inequalities and improving physical and mental health across the life course. More widely, the focus on preventing ill health is aligned with the aims of our local Integrated Care Partnerships, with potential to lower demand for health and social care services.