The number of people across Nottinghamshire who smoke has dropped to record low figures.
Public Health England has revealed 18.4 per cent of people in the district smoke - the lowest it has ever been recorded.
This shows a drop in one per cent from last year, and of more than three per cent since 2010.
Councillor Joyce Bosnjak, chair of the Nottinghamshire Health and Wellbeing Board welcomed the figures, but reiterated that there is still more work to be done as Nottingham County Council strives to inspire a tobacco free generation.
Coun Bosnjak said: “It is great news that the numbers of smokers in Notts is continuing to fall, and it rewards the hard work and dedication that a lot of people have put into tackling this vital issue.
“This isn’t a time to rest on our laurels though, as tobacco still inflicts huge damage to our health as a community. It causes around 1,300 deaths in the county each year, contributes to inequalities in life expectancy between areas, and it costs Nottinghamshire society an estimated £60m net in terms of things like health and social care, and lost productivity. We also know that pockets of the county have much higher smoking rates, and are suffering from the consequences accordingly.
“We have a vision of a smokefree future, and to achieve that we need to continue a multi-dimensional approach to reduce the impact of tobacco use. Every year we help thousands of smokers to kick the habit, but it’s also vitally important that we are preventing the next generation from starting smoking in the first place, and that we are doing what we can to support and influence national policy that limits the influence of tobacco.”
Reducing smoking to 18.4 per cent also means that Nottinghamshire has achieved a nationally set ambition of fewer than 18.5 per cent of smokers by 2015/16 one year early.
Smokers can get specialist, free help to quit smoking for good through local stop smoking services commissioned by Nottinghamshire County Council, via New Leaf on 0800 389 7712, Bassetlaw Stop Smoking Services on 0800 328 8553, or talk to a GP or pharmacy.