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Smokers are twice as likely to need social care support

A report published by Action on Smoking in Health (ASH) has looked at the costs of smoking to the social care system in England. The report shows that being a smoker (and to a lesser extent former smoker) doubles your chances of needing the support of social care services when you are over 50 years of age, compared to people who have never smoked. It also found that smokers are likely to need care on average nine years earlier than non-smokers.

The report identifies that the extra costs of smoking to the council for social care in North East Lincolnshire to be over £2.6 million a year to support around 162 smokers who need additional care for long term smoking related lung and heart conditions In addition to this, it is estimated that 1871 smokers in North East Lincolnshire need extra support from family and friends to carry out basic household jobs as a result of such conditions.

Geoffrey Barnes, Acting Director of Public Health said:

“It is well known that smokers live shorter lives than non-smokers but what this report illustrates is the debilitating effect that long term smoking can have requiring extra support from Social care services, friends and family.

Bev Compton, Assistant Director of Adult Services and Health Improvement and Chair of the North East Lincolnshire Smokefree Alliance said:

“Stopping smoking significantly improves your chances of living a longer, independent life and reduces the likelihood that you will need support in later life to cope with serious conditions that result from smoking. An average smoker would also be £1800 a year better off if they stopped smoking.”