There are fewer smokers in Somerset than the national average, data from Public Health England has shown as people start making New Year’s resolutions.
Figures show that around one in nine people in the county (10.8%) smoked in 2020, putting it below the UK average of 12.1%.
Smokers include 11.9% of males in the county and 9.8% of females.
The Somerset County Council Health and Welfare Officer said it was “encouraging” to see Somerset below the national average for smoking and described the support available for people who have resolved to quit smoking for the new year.
Councilor Clare Paul, Somerset County Council Health and Welfare Cabinet Member, said: ‘With many of us experiencing increased stress levels, especially with the challenges of the ongoing pandemic It is not surprising that some people have seen an increase in their smoking and drinking patterns.
“It is therefore encouraging to see that the number of people who smoke in Somerset is below the national average. Anyone who is committed to quitting this New Year, there is plenty of help available.
The council offers a free program to quit smoking, Somerset Smoke Free Life, to help county residents quit smoking.
“The basic service provides specialized support to the public wishing to quit smoking, and the Mums2Be smoke-free service is a specialized service for preconception or pregnant women and their partners,” said Clare.
“They have trained quit smoking practitioners who offer behavioral support and complement that with the provision of free quit smoking medications where appropriate.”
About 33.6% of people living in Somerset are self-identified as former smokers, while 55.6% of the county’s population has never smoked.
More men than women reported having quit the habit successfully in Somerset: 39.1% of male smokers versus 28.7% of smokers.
The data was revealed shortly after the government launched its campaign for better smoke-free health, which highlighted the impact smoking can have on families and children to give parents extra motivation to stop smoking.
Another popular New Years resolution is dry january, the UK alcohol-free month-long challenge.
The council has put in place support for locals who are willing to go 31 days without drinking – even if they haven’t started on New Years Day.
Cllr Paul added, “The board also supports Dry January, an opportunity to reset our relationship with alcohol.
“Giving up alcohol, even for a month, has many benefits like better sleep and more energy, improved mental health and focus, looking fabulous and brighter skin, better bank balance and an incredible feeling.” of accomplishment.
“Well done to anyone making New Year’s resolutions to quit or cut back.
“It’s not too late to get involved – pick a day and give up alcohol for thirty-one days.
“There is a lot of support available like the Try the dry application to help you along the way.
“Assistance is also available from the Somerset Drugs and Alcohol Service for anyone who thinks they have a problem with alcohol. ”
Turning Point charity delivers Somerset Drug and Alcohol Service (SDAS), which offers free and confidential support to people who want to change their relationship with alcohol.
For help, talk to your GP, call SDAS (0300 303 8788) or visit www.turning-point.co.uk/services/sdas.