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More than six people an hour end up in hospital due to smoking

File photo of a cigarette being smoked. Photo: Peter Byrne/PA Wire

File photo of a cigarette being smoked. Photo: Peter Byrne/PA Wire

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More than six people an hour in the east of England are admitted to hospital with smoking-related illnesses, it has been revealed.

The figures, released by Public Health England (PHE) to coincide with a new drive to stop smoking, show more than 25,000 people in the east of England die because of smoking every year, while nearly 60,000 end up in hospital.

Neil Wood, PHE east of England health and wellbeing manager, said: “Smoking is a deadly habit. Each year it kills 26,508 in the east of England and 59,063 people are admitted to hospital with smoking related illnesses – which works out to be more than six an hour.”

In Norfolk in 2016/17, 11,282 people were admitted to hospital, and 4,488 people died due to smoking.

In Suffolk, 7,774 people ended up in hospital, with 3,464 deaths. And in Cambridgeshire there were 6,187 hospital admissions, and 2,422 deaths.

As many people look to break bad habits in the new year, PHE released a new hard-hitting television advert showing how poisons from tar in cigarettes enter the bloodstream and spread.

Mr Wood added: “Our new TV advert shows how every cigarette sends a flood of poisonous chemicals through the bloodstream in seconds. We are urging every smoker in the east of England to take advantage of the free Smokefree support and quit for good this New Year.”

A film to support advert shows seven lifelong smokers - including TV presenter and entrepreneur Hilary Devey - declaring their intention to quit in January after seeing the results of a lab demonstration.

The test results show how their smoking has led to elevated levels of cadmium (a metal used in batteries), cancer-causing nitrosamines and carbon monoxide in their blood.

GP Dr Dawn Harper said: “I see the damaging effects of smoking in my surgery almost every day. Tar from cigarettes causes damage to major organs, the bones and increases your risk of a range of cancers and diseases. But, the good news is that no matter how long you’ve smoked, quitting can reduce your chances of developing cancer, heart and lung disease and other serious smoking related illnesses. Some of the benefits are almost immediate, with improved energy and breathing within a matter of days.”

For information on giving up, visit www.nhs.uk/smokefree

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