The latest data, published by The Office for National Statistics, suggests smoking rates across Sheffield are now at an all-time low of 10.3 per cent for the city, with over 20,000 people quitting in the last five years.
Around 1,000 people a year die in Sheffield from smoking-related diseases and long-term smokers sadly die on average 10 years earlier.
A new campaign from ‘Smoke Free Sheffield’ has kicked off to encourage smokers to kick the habit.
Greg Fell, director of public health for Sheffield, said: “We care about supporting smokers to quit. We are seeing positive results here with the number of people who are stopping smoking and in tackling the inequalities that smoking can lead to.
“Our campaigns such as ‘Closer Each Time’ and ‘Smoking doesn’t care about you, but we do’ aim to show people that just because you’ve tried to quit before, it doesn’t mean the next time won’t be the time you succeed.
"And we have the right tools and skills to help you quit for good. With support from the comprehensive tobacco control partnership across the city, from the stop smoking service to Trading Standards work to tackle cheap and illicit tobacco, and beyond, we will continue to inspire and assist hundreds of smokers to quit each year, and make a real difference to the people of Sheffield.”
Cost of living crisis adds extra pressure
The campaign said the current cost of living crisis will also be adding extra pressure on households, so there has never been a more important time to support smokers to quit.
Currently costing around £10 per day for a pack of 20 cigarettes, and around £5,000 a year, this is money lost to families if people continue to smoke.
Quitting can be critical to increasing household income where money can be spent on other things such as food, housing, energy, and transport, entertainment, it added.
Greg said: “We hope that our campaigns will help smokers see the impact of smoking on those around them and to keep trying to quit. Learning from every time you try is valuable and brings you closer to your smokefree goal. There is always hope and there is plenty of help and support available”
“We want smokers to consider the people they might leave behind next time they have a cigarette as tobacco kills around 16 people in Sheffield every week. Each of those people has loved ones, family, friends or colleagues who care about them.”
The campaign said specialist stop smoking services are the most effective approach to quitting smoking – three times as effective as trying on your own – but 98 per cent of smokers currently do not use them.
Smokers are being urged to seek support from Smokefree Sheffield and its partners which include a range of stop smoking services across the city. Support from the service is also free, giving people even more reason to make that next quit attempt now.
To find out more about the work of Smokefree Sheffield and partners or to find out how to quit, visit www.smokefreesheffield.org.