Liverpool's 'preventable killer' that people are spending £2,500 a year on

Around £2,500 is spent a year on smoking by people in Liverpool every year
-Credit: (Image: Kilmarnock Standard)


Almost £2m is to be pumped into a strategy to make Liverpool a smoke free city and clamp down on the city’s “biggest preventable killer".

Proposals are to be put forward to Liverpool Council’s cabinet spelling out how over the next six years, the city can stub out cigarettes for good. A new multi-agency alliance is being put together to drive a wide-ranging plan to reduce and ultimately prevent smoking by 2030.

Documents made public by the local authority ahead of a significant meeting at the Town Hall said smokers in Liverpool spend almost £2,500 a year on the habit.

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According to a report outlining the strategy, to be discussed by Liverpool Council’s cabinet on Tuesday, 17% of people in the city are classed as smokers - around 70,000 people. It said: “Smoking is a major cause of health inequalities in Liverpool.

“In addition to causing avoidable illness, smoking does this disproportionately, by creating a greater burden for the most disadvantaged families and communities.” It is thought adults in routine and manual jobs are almost three times more likely to be smokers compared to those in other occupations.

The strategy is being unveiled just days after the government’s controversial proposals to prevent the sale of tobacco to anyone born after January 1 2009 were shelved ahead of the general election. The plan, known as Stopping the Start, was drawn up following an independent review in 2022 and according to Liverpool Council, pledges within that blueprint make this “ the right time to develop and implement the new Liverpool Tobacco Control Strategy.”

The cabinet report said: “The vision is simple: the council wants Liverpool to become a smoke free city allowing all its communities to live longer, healthier and wealthier lives in a city where they can play and work without exposure to the harms of tobacco smoke.”

To do so, an “ambitious strategy” is required to take a different approach to previous attempts to butt out cigarettes across the city. The authority hopes focus on prevention activity and embedding more smoke free environments will help to “denormalise” smoking and curb the number of people taking up the habit.

It is hoped the strategy will align with government ambition of a smoking prevalence of 5% or less by 2030. If adopted as anticipated, the tobacco control alliance made up of multi-agency partners, will lead the delivery of the scheme.

Chaired by Prof Matt Ashton, director of public health, it will also lead the creation of a detailed action plan that sets out a direction towards eliminating smoking and tobacco-related harm in Liverpool.

Existing funding of £1.1m ringfenced through the core public health grant will be used to fund the project in 2024/25, with an additional £831,000 made available through a support grant. It is hoped this would continue for the lifespan of the strategy but is subject to review.

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