Liberal Democrat Leader dismayed by smoking increase

The Leader of the Opposition and Liberal Democrat Group, Councillor Howard Sykes MBE, has expressed his dismay at the latest report showing an increase in smokers in Oldham Borough.

The latest GP Patient Survey, run independently by Ipsos MORI on behalf of NHS England, which has just been published shows that the proportion of smokers in Oldham rose from 17pc to 19pc between 2015/16 and 2016/17.  The Greater Manchester average is 17.5pc.

Councillor Sykes said: “These figures are shocking.  A two percent rise is a move in the wrong direction, we should be seeing a decrease in smoking not and increase – it is simply not good enough.”

“Smoking is known to be one of the biggest killers in our Borough and also blights the lives of many more of our residents with life-long respiratory illnesses, strokes, heart attacks and cancers.  In Oldham, there were 2,234 smoking-related admissions to hospital in 2016/17,” stated Councillor Sykes.

“The Labour Council has clearly failed in its stated ambition to reduce smoking and we now need to take a long, hard look to reverse the trend and get back on track for a smoke-free Oldham.  We need a radical re think about how we encourage and support smokers and their families/friends to kick the habit,” he added.

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