A quarter of adults in Great Yarmouth admit to smoking as it’s revealed smokers are on the rise in parts of Norfolk
- Credit: PA
The number of people smoking in certain areas of Norfolk is on the rise despite figures showing that the proportion of smokers across Britain is at its lowest on record.
New Office for National Statistics (ONS) data show that 17.2pc of British adults smoked in 2015 - the lowest level since records began in 1974. This number is down from 20.1pc of adults who smoked five years previously.
Across the East of England the number of smokers is at its lowest in the last five years at 21.9pc but in certain parts of the region the numbers are on the rise.
In Breckland in 2014 the number of adults smoking was 12.7pc but this rose to 15.8pc in 2015. The figures painted the same story in Great Yarmouth with nearly a quarter of adults (24.1pc) admitting to being a smoker in 2015 - up from 18.pc the previous year.
There was also a rise from 16.2pc to 18.9pc in Nrowich and in King's Lynn and West Norfolk the numbers rose from 13.7pc in 2014 to 21.2pc in 2015.
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Despite this rise in some areas of the region Bill Jones of Smoke Free Norfolk said they are seeing more and more people through their doors.
'We are seeing a lot of smokers across the county at the moment with most of these coming from referrals,' he said. 'I think that is generally down to education. The message is really out there now that smoking has no health benefits and the views from some people that it can cure things such as depressions is dying out.'
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He added that there is always more you can do to spread the message of the dangers of smoking and that is really important when it comes to younger people.
'Our health care professionals, especially GPs, are very good at helping the older smokers but they don't tend to see their younger patients as often so it is important that health care professionals go into schools and youth clubs to make teenagers aware of what smoking can do to them,' he said.
The ONS data also examined figures on the use of e-cigarettes nationally.
In 2015, 2.3 million people in Great Britain used e-cigarettes - for half of these, 'vaping' is used as a means to quit smoking.
Of the former e-cigarette users in Great Britain, around half said they currently smoke cigarettes and 14.4pc of the current users said they also smoked cigarettes.