Although smoking prevalence has declined in the North West over the past decade, it is still above the all-England average. The number of deaths from smoking among people aged 35 and over is also higher in the North West than the all-England average.
A £1.8 million programme to reduce smoking rates in the North West is now being implemented. Current activity includes supporting national smoke free campaigns, making NHS Stop Smoking Services widely available, and partnership action to reducing the appeal and availability of illicit tobacco.
National action on reducing smoking prevalence over the past decade is set out in the "Consultation on the future of tobacco control", published in May 2008. Copies of the Consultation have already been placed in the Library.
The Government have undertaken to develop a new National Tobacco Control Strategy to further reduce smoking rates in the future. The current consultation will inform the development of the strategy, and includes questions on protecting children and young people from smoking, and on helping smokers to quit.