Quitting smoking would lift 30,000 Brummies out of poverty

By on 29/10/2015 in News

Over 10,000 Birmingham households would be lifted out of poverty if they went smoke-free.

New figures from Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) show that, of the 102,000 households in Birmingham that include an adult smoker, 34,000 fall below the poverty line.

If the smoker were to quit, almost 30,000 Brummies – including 12,500 children – would be elevated out of poverty.

The statistics

  • On average, households that include a smoker spend £2,158 a year on tobacco.
  • There are around 102,000 households in Birmingham with at least one smoker.
  • 34,000 of these fall below the poverty line.
  • If these smokers were to quit, over 10,400 households would be lifted out of poverty.

People living in these households include: 

  • 13,500 adults below pension age
  • 2,500 pension age adults
  • 12,500 dependent children
  • So, roughly 28,500 people would no longer be below the poverty line if the cost of smoking was returned to the household.

Figures taken from ASH Local Poverty Calculator: http://www.ash.org.uk/files/documents/ASH_988.xls

Birmingham Director of Public Health, Dr Adrian Phillips, said: “We all know the health risks associated with smoking, but the financial implications are often overlooked. These shocking figures from ASH highlight the financial cost of smoking to those who can least afford it.

“Lifting over 10,000 households across Birmingham out of poverty would make a huge difference to so many lives in our city and our Stop Smoking Service offers FREE support to smokers who take the tough decision to quit.”

Birmingham stop smoking service operations manager, Jamila Hussain, added: “If you smoke, stopping smoking is the single most important think you can do to improve your health and wealth.

“It really is amazing how much money you can save and that can make a huge difference, especially with Christmas around the corner and we’re here to help.

“NHS Stop Smoking Services have been shown to be four times more effective at helping you stop smoking than if you try to stop on your own.”

Quit smoking in Birmingham

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