With smoking rates continuing to fall, tobacco use is now highly concentrated in some communities, particularly the rented sector. The report finds that smoking is three times more common among tenants in social housing than households that are owner occupied and twice as prevalent in the private rented sector.
Developed in collaboration with health, housing and academic experts, the report looks across all type of housing to identify practical actions to reduce smoking. It does not call for a blanket ban to smoking in the home but rather calls for supportive approaches that will enable communities to promote quitting.
It also highlights positive steps that have been taken in Greater Manchester, including a partnership between Salford City Council and six local social housing providers which has seen over a thousand tenants provided with access to free e-cigarette starter kits and additional support to help them quit. At the end of the pilot, over 60% of those who engaged with support had quit smoking, considerably higher than the usual supported quit rate of around 40%.
Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, said, “Smoking remains the biggest cause of premature death in Greater Manchester and the leading cause of health inequalities. This report makes some important recommendations, which could help empower people to change their smoking habits.
“As Mayor, I want to see much greater collaboration between public health and housing on smoking. As we have already seen in Salford, partnership working between the council and local housing providers can make a real difference in reducing rates of smoking, and in helping us reach our goal of making smoking history.”