Smoking has huge cost in Kirklees

A new stop smoking service has been launched in Doncaster.
A new stop smoking service has been launched in Doncaster.

The massive financial burden of smokers in Kirklees has been revealed as totalling more than £130m, according to a new report.

Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) has laid bare how smoking is a drain on everything from lost productivity to smoking related fires.

The report estimates there are 66,886 smokers in the Kirklees area.

It says that every year smoking-related early deaths result in 1,234 years of lost productivity – costing the local economy around £54m.

Our businesses lose around 99,000 days of productivity each year due to smoking related sick days and smoking breaks cost £39m.

Smoking also costs our NHS Trusts millions every year. ASH calculated the direct cost was £15m, while passive smoking heaps on another £2m.

The study, the first to estimate the cost of smoking to the social care system, also shows Kirklees Council is being forced to fork out £4.8m to look after just 302 smokers who are ill in their homes.

Local authorities took on responsibility for public health from the NHS in 2012.

ASH chief executive Deborah Arnott said: “Local authorities are facing a financial squeeze that makes effective and targeted spending on preventative services all the more important.”

The impact of smoking-related fires on the Kirklees economy is estimated to be £4m every year.