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Ipswich worst in Suffolk for smoking, new statistics reveal

PUBLISHED: 16:42 17 July 2019 | UPDATED: 16:42 17 July 2019

People in Ipswich are nearly twice as likely to smoke than in other areas of Suffolk, figures reveal. Picture: Getty Images/Wavebreak Media

People in Ipswich are nearly twice as likely to smoke than in other areas of Suffolk, figures reveal. Picture: Getty Images/Wavebreak Media

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People in Ipswich are nearly twice as likely to smoke than in some areas of Suffolk, a new study has revealed.

The new research conducted by tobacco company Philip Morris Limited, has shown that nearly 20% of people surveyed from the Suffolk town said that they smoked in 2018 - nearly double those who live in Bury St Edmunds.

The study found that in Ipswich 17.1% of people reportedly smoked last year, meaning the town is worse than more than 75% of constituencies in the UK.

In contrast, Bury St Edmunds is ranked in the best 50 out of all the 632 constituencies in the country, with only 10% of those surveyed confirming that they smoked.

James Reeder, cabinet member for public health and prevention at Suffolk County Council, said: "It is promising that we are seeing a downturn in smoking prevalence in Suffolk, reflecting national trends, but we recognise there is still more work to do to achieve our aspiration for Suffolk to be a smoke-free county.

"Smoking is still the biggest contributor to early deaths with around 15% of deaths in Suffolk each year related to smoking.

"No-one can give up alone it is always better to quit in a group with friends or family members."

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Suffolk generally performed well in the study, despite Ipswich scoring poorly. The county had two constituencies in the best 100, Bury St Edmunds and South Suffolk, where only 10.5% of people smoked in 2018.

Both West Suffolk (11.7%) and Central Suffolk and North Ipswich (13.5%) scored below the national average for smoking prevalence, which was 15.1% in 2018.

Suffolk Coastal and Waveney both scored exactly the same as the national average.

Mr Reeder added: "Public Health Suffolk work closely with One Life Suffolk, GPs and pharmacies to support those who are thinking about giving up smoking to do so.

"The council also promotes stop-smoking messages through our ongoing local campaigns 'How you gonna quit', 'StopTogether' and 'Healthy Pregnancy'.

North Essex generally saw a higher percentage of people smoking than Suffolk.

The worst constituency was Braintree, where 16.1% of people smoked.

In Colchester, Clacton and Harwich and North Essex, 14.7% of people smoked - below the national average.

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