Number of Wigan smokers plummets to historic low

Anne Wilson quit after 55 years of smoking
Anne Wilson quit after 55 years of smoking

Fewer Wiganers smoke now than ever before, promising figures have revealed.

Data released by the Office for National Statistics shows that the prevalence of smokers in Wigan has reached an all time low.

The figures show a dramatic decrease in the number of tobacco users with 15.5 per cent of the population declaring themselves as smokers now compared to 23 per cent in 2012. In

Wigan there is a slightly larger proportion of female smokers than male, with 16 per cent and 15 per cent respectively.

The study has shown a significant drop in the prevalence of smokers in Greater Manchester as a whole, with the percentage dropping 1.3 per cent to 16.2 per cent in 2018.

The statistics come following a warning from Cancer Research UK, who revealed that being overweight or obese trumps smoking as the leading cause of four types of cancer – bowel, kidney, ovarian and liver.

Coun Keith Cunliffe, deputy leader of Wigan Council, said: “The average borough reduces its smoking prevalence at a rate of 0.5 per cent each year, so for us to have reduced by nearly eight per cent in six years is fantastic.

“It is thanks to a partnership approach with HealthyRoutes and an individuals’ dedication to quit, which has led to Wigan Borough having the third lowest smoking prevalence in Greater Manchester. Our prevalence figures are also in the average range for England for the fifth year running, which demonstrates that we have sustained our improvements too.

“Our HealthyRoutes service is at the heart of our community, working closely with people to help them quit and make positive health choices. We offer a lot of support locally there is a range of smoking support including; face-to-face consultations, group drop-in sessions, Free Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) for those eligible for free prescriptions, SMS support and a free QuitPal app.

“Healthy Routes work with the person to assess what type of support works best for them, with a range of practical, convenient stop smoking support to suit you and your lifestyle.”

Anne Wilson from Beech Hill has quite smoking after 55 years. She said: “My GP never thought I would never give up.

“It’s been hard to do but I can only praise Lisa at Healthy Routes it’s a brilliant service.”

“I have recently been on holiday to Portugal with my daughter and I feel like I am walking a lot better. Some days it’s a struggle to stay quit but I am determined not to smoke again.”

For Healthy Routes call 01942 489012 or visit