Smoking on the rise in six boroughs but the city is stubbing out the habit

Smoking-2Against the general trend of both the city and the country, smoking has increased in six boroughs since 2012.

The latest data gathered by the Office for National Statistics through its large-scale Annual Population Survey reveals that the rate of smoking in 2015 compared to 2012 was up in Harrow, Haringey, Kensington and Chelsea, Kingston, Newham and Tower Hamlets.

The biggest increase, of nearly 14%, was in Harrow, but the overall level of smoking remains low in the borough. Haringey, Newham and Tower Hamlets experienced an increase on rates that are among the highest in London.

smoking change 12-15-2

Although the increases are mostly small they are significant in the context of falling rates across the rest of the capital.  The average rate for London has gone down from 18.2% who said they were smokers in 2012 to 16.3% in 2015.  In Redbridge the rate fell by more than 30% over that period, according to the ONS figures. There were also steep declines in Brent and Bromley.

The data does not reveal the reason behind these changes.  It may be the consequence of changing habits or changes in the make up of the population in areas. It may be due to people aswering questions more honestly, as the survey relies on individuals to define themselves as smokers.

The rate of smoking in London is among the lowest for any region in England.  Across England 16.9% of people say that they are smokers. The rate is lower than that in 20 London boroughs.  The lowest rate in London is 11.5% in Redbridge, but it is nearly double that in Haringey where 22% of people said they smoked in 2015.  In five boroughs – Haringey, Lambeth, Hackney, Tower Hamlets and Newham –  two or more in every ten people smoke.

Smoking rates-2

Apart from Redbridge, Richmond, Brent and Bromley all have a rate of smoking at around 12% or lower.

There are a number of measures of smoking carried out across the country.  A survey at GP surgeries of people over 15 carried out over two year periods found the level of smoking in London fractionally higher in 2014/15 than the most recent ONS data, It also recorded small rises in a handful of boroughs.

Source data

See Also

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Teenage survey finds that Richmond has highest level of cannabis use

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

750 new cases of female genital mutilation identified over summer

More than 750 women and girls who had been subjected to Female Genital Mutilation were recorded by the NHS in London over the summer.

More than half the newly recorded cases in the UK were in London, according to the data for July to September released this month by the Heath and Social Care Information Centre.

Photo: Redkaya ┃Shutterstock.com

Photo: Redkaya ┃Shutterstock.com

Female Genital Mutilation, or FGM, is the removal of all or part of the female genitals for non-medical reasons. It is a traditional practice in a number of African countries but it is illegal in the UK.

The law was strengthened in 2003 to prevent girls being taken overseas to undergo FGM. This is thought to be particularly prevalent during the long school summer holidays which have been termed the ‘cutting season’.

The newly recorded cases do not necessarily indicate that the procedure had been recently carried out on these women. Rather it is when the NHS recorded their case. In around half the cases the women reported the FGM themselves.

The country of origin is not known for many of the women. Where origin is recorded, the national figures show the largest number of women is from Africa, particularly East Africa, and especially Somalia.

A previous study by City University and the human rights organisation Equality Now, reported by Urbs, estimated that as many as 87,000 women and girls across the capital may have undergone FGM. Brent and Southwark had the largest number of cases.

FGM

The NHS began collecting quarterly statistics on newly identified cases in 2014. So far the data has been collected largely from acute or hospital trusts, but from October it became mandatory for GP surgeries to also make submission. This may well cause the number of recorded victims to rise in the coming months.

Source data

See also

Thousands of women and girls with FGM living across London

Mapping Londoners: Born in Somalia