Wigan to get £475k cash injection to phase out smoking and tackle youth vaping

Wigan is set to receive an extra £475,000 to create a “smoke-free generation”.
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Prime Minister Rishi Sunak recently outlined plans for a new law to stop children who turn 14 this year and anyone younger ever legally being sold cigarettes in England.

There were also plans to reduce the appeal and availability of vapes to young people.

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As part of the national initiative to tackle smoking, Wigan has been given £475,110, on top of the current annual spend of £390,000.

Funds have been allocated to help create a smoke free societyFunds have been allocated to help create a smoke free society
Funds have been allocated to help create a smoke free society

As of 2022, there were approximately 39,871 smokers in the borough.

Wigan Council’s director of public health Rachael Musgrave said: “Smoking remains one of the leading causes of preventable ill health, disability and death in England.

"In Wigan, more people smoke than the national average, so this funding provides us with a real opportunity to create a smoke-free generation. Working alongside our health partners through Wigan's tobacco control partnership, we plan to increase access and opportunities to support people to stop smoking.

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“While stopping smoking can be difficult, it can be easier with the right support. Visit Bewellwigan.org/stopsmoking.”

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The Government has allocated £70m for local stop smoking services and support in every local authority in England, more than doubling the current funding available.

These services provide one-to-one and group stop smoking sessions, access to accurate information and advice, as well as easy and affordable quit aids such as patches and nasal and mouth spray.

Mr Sunak said: “I want to build a brighter future for our children, which means taking the necessary decisions for the long-term interests of our country.

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“Smoking is a deadly habit, so we are making the biggest single public health intervention in a generation to stop our kids from ever being able to buy a cigarette. This will protect their health both now and in future – saving tens of thousands of lives and saving the NHS billions of pounds.”

The Government also issued guidance to local authorities, in partnership with the Local Government Association, on how the funding should be used to help more people quit, link smokers to effective interventions and support existing schemes.

There is also a public consultation, which closes on Wednesday, December 6, detailing proposals to prevent underage and illicit sales of tobacco and vapes, with plans to introduce on-the-spot fines for underage sales.