Hospitals treat more than 10,000 people for smoking-related conditions in past year
- Credit: PA
More than 10,000 people were admitted to Norfolk hospitals as a result of smoking habits in the last year - a figure which rose for the first time since 2016.
In the most recent set of figures released by Public Health England it was revealed that in the 2018/19 financial year, 10,631 admissions were made to the county’s three hospitals for conditions related to smoking.
The figure is a three percent rise from the previous year, when 10,303 people were admitted to hospital.
And significantly, it was the first time the number has risen since 2015/16, when the number of cases swelled from 10,895 in 2014/15 to 11,282.
The statistics, which reflect a national trend, have prompted calls for the government to do more to help people give up smoking and ease the burden these admissions place on the NHS.
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Hazel Cheeseman, director of policy at Action on Smoking and Health, said: “Most smokers start as children and try many times to quit. They are more likely to get sick, develop complications and take longer to recover than non-smokers.
“This places a real burden on the NHS. The government has pledged to do more to help smokers in the NHS, which is welcome, but more action is needed to achieve its vision of smoking rates of five percent or less by 2030.”
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The figures also show that while it was the first time the year-on-year number has risen in three years, in the past 11 years almost 106,000 people were admitted to hospital with conditions related to smoking.
The statistics only include admissions for diseases that are wholly or partially attributed to smoking for people over the age of 35, with around half a million hospital admissions nationwide fitting this description.
A spokesman for the department of health and social care said: “Robust government action, like the introduction of plain packaging and awareness campaigns has brought smoking rates down to record low levels and our ambition is to become a smoke-free society by 2030.
“Prevention remains at the heart of our NHS long term plan.”