New study shows economic boost of ‘smokefree generation’ ambition

Spending power worth millions of pounds to local economies in Humber and North Yorkshire would be unlocked if England became completely smokefree, according to a new study.

The research, led by the University of Sheffield’s Addictions Research Group in collaboration with the University of Nottingham, reveals if everyone in the country quit smoking, the economic gain would equate to £1,776 per smoker or £246 per adult regardless of smoking status – money which could then be spent in local communities.

Overall, the study suggests that going completely smokefree could free up £10.9 billion nationwide and a staggering £1.2 billion in the Yorkshire and Humber area.

Scott Crosby, Humber and North Yorkshire’s Associate Director of the Centre for Excellence in Tobacco Control said: “We all know that stopping smoking reduces illness and saves lives, which of course saves NHS money.

“But this study highlights the potential economic benefit to local business and when you consider the impact this could have on everyone in the area – when there’s more money to spend and people live longer to spend it – it’s staggering what a difference a smoke-free country could make.”

The new study comes as the government is debating a smokefree generation policy in Parliament, which would mean it is illegal to sell cigarettes or other tobacco products to anyone born on or after 1 January 2009. This means that anyone aged 15 or under in 2024 will never legally be sold cigarettes or other tobacco products, even after they turn 18.

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Click here to read more on the research from the University of Sheffield and University of Nottingham.

Click here to view the full paper.