SMOKERS in Blackburn with Darwen have had success kicking the habit, according to new statistics.

Figures issued by Public Health England, show that the rates of adults smoking in Blackburn with Darwen dropped from 27.1 per cent in 2011 to 16.7 per cent in 2017, putting the borough on a par with the North West average of 16.1 per cent.

Council bosses say staff at Blackburn with Darwen’s Stop Smoking and Wellbeing Services have worked hard to offer a range of personalised support to help people stop smoking for good.

This includes one-to-one consultations, follow-up appointments, clinic times, quit kits and information and signposting support.

Blackburn with Darwen Council and Blackburn with Darwen Clinical Commissioning Group have also worked together to deliver the local Tobacco Control Policy and worked on initiatives around smokefree homes, cars and outdoor spaces.

They have also been vocal in their support for plain tobacco packaging, which came into force in 2016 and regularly backed national campaigns like Stoptober and No Smoking Day.

Cllr Brian Taylor, executive member for health and adult social care, said: "Giving up smoking is the single most immediate and important action we can take to improve health and wellbeing, improve life expectancy and reduce hospital admissions so I’m delighted to see such positive stats.

"We want to help as many people quit as possible and our Stop Smoking Service is a great chance to get help to break away from this addiction and start to feel the health and financial benefits of becoming smokefree."

Dr Penny Morris, accountable officer for Blackburn with Darwen CCG, added: "The number of smokers in Blackburn with Darwen has significantly reduced and that is fantastic for the health prospects of our residents.

"The CCG has worked closely with our colleagues across the health system to tackle this issue as smoking is one of our top priorities.

"It is linked to so many serious and long term conditions including cancer, heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and other lung conditions.

"I think we should also congratulate people in Blackburn with Darwen as giving up smoking is difficult but the health benefits can be felt very quickly."