Study shows low rate of teenage smokers in Newham

PUBLISHED: 07:00 26 August 2015

Councillor Clive Furness, Newham mayoral advisor for adults and health, said there was

Councillor Clive Furness, Newham mayoral advisor for adults and health, said there was "still a lot to do" to tackle smoking in the borough

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Fewer of the borough’s youngsters are lighting up than their peers across the country, a recent study has shown.

What About YOUth? Survey 2014 looks into the smoking habits of 15-year-olds across England, and finds that 18.2 per cent of those asked in Newham had smoked a cigarette – significantly lower than the 24.4pc national average.

Research into the use of e-cigarettes showed an even starker picture, with 18.4pc of those asked trying one compared to just 10.4pc in the borough.

London boasts the lowest prevalence of people trying smoking at just 21pc – still about 3pc higher than the borough’s 15-year-olds.

Young people from a BME (black or minority ethnic) background were less likely to say they had ever smoked than young people from a white background (17 per cent and 26 per cent respectively).

Meanwhile the proportion of those who had ever smoked other tobacco products, including shisha, was significantly higher in Newham than the average in England.

While 20.9pc had tried other tobacco products, 4.8pc of those were

current alternative tobacco users, compared to just 2.6pc across England.

Dr Zuhair Zarifa, local GP and chairman of NHS Newham Clinical Commissioning Group, said that stopping smoking had numerous benefits. He said: “Studies show that you’re four times more likely to quit smoking if you do it through the NHS.

“As well the considerable health benefits, stopping smoking can save you money too.

“Whatever your motivation, if you’re thinking about quitting, take the time to speak to your GP practice, your local pharmacist or the Newham stop smoking service today.”

Councillor Clive Furness, mayoral advisor for adults and health, said it was “encouraging” that more 15-year-olds in Newham recognised the damage cigarettes can have on their health than in other parts of London and the UK, but that there was still “work to do”.

“We work closely with our schools, youth groups and other partners to help them educate our young people about the impact of smoking cigarettes,” he said.

“While this appears to be successfully helping to discourage young people from smoking cigarettes, this study shows there is still work to do, especially in warning them about the dangers of any use of tobacco.

“Studies suggest that using e-cigarettes could help people quit. However our overall goal is to help as many Newham residents as possible kick the nicotine habit.

“Our free stop smoking service has helped thousands of people lead healthier smoke free lives, and I would urge anyone wanting to quit smoking to use their expert advice and support.”

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