Rotherham council’s strategic move to curb smoking statistics and meet national targets

by | Oct 24, 2023

Image: Stock image of man smoking

Rotherham Council have published a public Cabinet report regarding the funding of Tobacco Control in Rotherham, which outlines plans to prevent smoking. 

The report, published on 16 October 2023, suggested that targets outlined in the Khan Review, which aimed to make smoking obsolete by 2030, would not be met by Rotherham. 

Currently in Rotherham, 16.9% of Rotherham adults (around 35,400 people) were smokers in 2021 compared to 13.0% nationally. This has created a significant health, care and productivity burden for the Borough.

Graph made by Rotherham Reveal

Smoking is also the single greatest contributor to the total burden of disease in Rotherham. 

An estimated 13,836 Disability Adjusted Life Years (DALYs) in Rotherham were caused by smoking in 2019 alone. 

The Council’s report outlined several recommendations in order to prevent the curb, including the endorsement of The Tobacco Control Work Plan (2022/23 – 2024/25).

Rotherham has historically struggled with its smoking rates. The Rotherham Tobacco Control Health Needs assessment, published in April 2022, found that smoking starts as a habit in young people. Ten percent of Rotherham’s young people smoked at age 15 according to 2014/15 estimates, which has since risen. 

Graph made by Rotherham Reveal

Rotherham’s Tobacco Control Work Plan has been coordinated by the Tobacco Control Steering group. Their role is to ensure that all local activity on Tobacco Control (including stop smoking activity) delivers maximum impact towards a smoke-free Rotherham.

There are five priorities of the group, which align with aims from the Khan Review.

A) Strategy and Coordination: Deliver a coordinated tobacco

control policy, strategy, governance and monitoring system.

B) Quit for good: Encourage and support smokers to quit for


C) Enforcement: Tackle suppliers of cheap, counterfeit, and

illicit tobacco and nicotine containing-products through

delivery of effective enforcement.

D) Reduce variation in smoking rates by tackling inequalities.

E) Stop the start: Reduce the number of people taking up

smoking, particularly young people.

The report was published by public health specialist Amelia Thorp and public health consultant Gilly Brenner.

It is currently available on the Rotherham Council website.