This is how many smokers live in Birmingham

January is a popular time for smokers to consider quitting – as figures show one in six people in Birmingham may be considering quitting

The Government has launched a new campaign to encourage people to stop smoking in 2022, as new research shows teens whose parents smoked are far more likely to pick up the habit.

Analysis by The Better Health Smoke Free shows 4.9% of young teenagers whose caregivers smoke also smoke regularly, versus 1.2% of those whose caregivers do not.

In Birmingham the number of smokers is above the national average, according to Public Health England data.

It shows that 16.9% of the area’s 874,400 adults were smoking in 2020 – above the national average of 12.1%.

The smokers include 13.2% of women in the area and 20.8% of men.

While 61.7% of Birmingham residents who never smoked will have no idea how it feels to be faced with the task of quitting - 21.5% of those reporting to be ex-smokers might be reflecting on their success.

And when it comes to quitting, more men than women reported to have been able to kick the habit – 19.2% of adult female smokers and 23.9% of males.

The number of smokers in Birmingham - and the best way to stop people taking up the habit

What is the best way to stop smoking in Birmingham?

Professor Nick Hopkinson of Imperial College London and The Better Health Smoke Free said: “Our research findings are clear – adult smoking has a tangible impact on children.

“Children whose caregivers smoke are four times as likely to take up smoking themselves.

“The most effective way to help prevent this would be for adults to quit smoking – clearly not only does this have enormous benefits for them but it will also benefit their children both now and in later life.”

Health minister Maggie Throup said she hoped the research would give parents extra motivation to quit smoking.

She said: “We know that many people make a quit attempt in January, and while there are so many good reasons to stop smoking for yourself, we hope that this new campaign – by highlighting the inter-generational smoking link with parents influencing their children – will be the added motivation many need to ditch the cigarettes for good this year.

“With so much help and support available for parents, carers and anyone looking to quit, you won’t be alone in your new year’s resolution.”

The Better Health campaign gives access to free quitting support and tools, including help from local Stop Smoking Services, the NHS Quit Smoking app, Facebook messenger bot, Stoptober Facebook online communities, daily emails and SMS, and an online Personal Quit Plan.

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