REVEALED: Corby has the highest smoking rate in the UK

editorial image

Smoking is one of those habits that everybody has a view on.

Some are addicted to it, some are disgusted by it - but right here in the north of the county is England’s nicotine-loving heartland.

How Corby compares to the rest of the nation.

How Corby compares to the rest of the nation.

Corby has the country’s highest smoking rate, with one in three adults living there enjoying a regular cigarette, according to the latest Office for National Statistics figures.

Cancer Research UK says smoking accounts for more than a quarter of cancer deaths in the country.

With the obvious threat of major illness and the average pack of 20 cigarettes now costing almost £8, it’s easy to see why many choose not to take up the habit.

But what is it about smoking that makes it so popular in Corby?

Anne Kirkton has been smoking for 26 years and says she has no plans to give up.

She said: “It’s one of those things that I tried when I was younger and I’m never going to stop doing.

“It costs a lot and obviously isn’t very good for you but you crave it.

“I’ve got friends who have tried nicotine patches and other things to kick the habit but it hasn’t worked.”

Tony Morrison smokes 40 a day and says it’s one of the first things on his shopping list.

He said: “Some people drink a lot, some people gamble.

“Everyone’s got a guilty pleasure and mine happens to be smoking.

“It costs a lot and I’ve tried to give up but I still do it and it’s normally the first thing I get when I go shopping.”

In recent years the number of smokers has fallen thanks to the ban on smoking at work and in pubs, as well as the rise in availability of e-cigarettes.

While it remains top of the national table, Corby has seen a decrease in its smoking rate which was as high as 40 per cent in 2008.

Clinical chairman at NHS Corby CCG Dr Joanne Watt said: “Stopping smoking brings real lifestyle and health benefits, like improvements in breathing and fitness, improved circulation, improved ability to taste and smell, improved appearance of skin and teeth, and having more money to spend.

“By quitting you’ll be improving your own health by dramatically reducing your risk of coronary heart disease, stroke and a variety of cancers.

“You’ll feel better, and have more money to spend on other things that you enjoy.”

First for Wellbeing’s Stop Smoking service offers free advice, support and information to anyone in the county.

The service is run by professional advisors and specialists, and can be accessed from a range of locations across the county or over the phone.

First for Wellbeing stop smoking manager Ellie McGuire said: “Quitting smoking is the single best thing a person can do to improve their health and wellbeing, and dramatically reduces their chance of developing serious long-term health issues or dying prematurely.

“We know that you are more likely to stop smoking if you have the support of a professional, so we offer a range free advice, support and guidance for up to 12 weeks to anyone in the county.

“We have a number of stop smoking clinics located in and around Corby, available for anyone to book an appointment with a dedicated stop smoking advisor to increase their chances of successfully quitting for good.”