Smoking to blame for half of deaths in Birmingham - what should be done, according to locals?

Smoking attributable deaths account for around half of all deaths across Birmingham each year, according to the city council.

The local authority is currenty carrying out a consultation to find out more about local people’s smoking habits to help them quit.

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They say: “It is a key Public Health priority to understand smoking habits and reduce smoking across the city. Stopping smoking is the best thing you can do to improve your health and the health of the people around you.”

BirminghamWorld asks Brummies for their views on smoking and what can be done to help people quit. You can hear all the comments in our video at the top of our story, and read a selection below. Let us know what you think too.

If you want to take part in the council’s research go to: Birmingham smoking habits

Zara, Birmingham

Zara says: “Yeah, I mean, the thing is, you’re never going to stop people smoking. It’s a social thing that people enjoy. I think, you know, if you’re going to ban smoking, you might as well ban alcohol because there’s a lot of risks with alcohol as well.I don’t know how much the alcohol related deaths are in Birmingham, I have to take a look. But I can imagine there’s quite a lot. And alcohol causes more public nuisances than smoking.”

William, Birmingham

William says: “What should Birmingham City be doing? I’m a great believer - in my former life, I was a journalist and radio presenter and producer, TV producer - I’m also a life coach, believe it or not, and a business coach. And I think the best way to motivate something - for people to, if you like, to improve their behaviour is to offer a carrot and a stick.

“Give them an incentive to give up smoking. So for example, if you encourage - give young people because they’re the people are likely to get addicted early - let’s say for example, very low cost or cheap access to the gym. And then measure when they enter, when they leave, on a regular basis, but carbon monoxide content in their blood.

“That’s the way that you can tell whether they’re smoking or not typically. So I think incentivizing them with, you know, benefits like that, which are relatively low cost, or actually, if they are going to the gym and exercising, they’re probably going to be less of a burden on the NHS anyway.”

KJ, Birmingham

KJ says: “I mean, you really can’t stop people from smoking, know what I’m saying? Especially cigarettes, because cigarettes been around for so low. So you got to think about like, there’s people that’s like 99, that’s still smoking cigarettes to this day. So like just let them keep smoking cigarettes, if that’s what they want to do, that’s their health. Their life - and let them do what they want to do.”

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