Cancer linked to smoking twice as likely in those on lower income

The latest estimates released last week by Cancer Research UK show that cancer cases linked to cancer are 2 times higher in those in lower income groups compared to higher income groups. 

Smoking was linked to cancer in 11,000 cases in low income compared to 6000 cases in higher income groups, highlighting the health inequalities that exist for those who are less well off.

Smoking is the biggest preventable risk factor for cancer and has been linked to causing 15 different cancers.  Those living in deprived areas are 2.5 times more likely to smoke than those who are least deprived. It is thought that several factors could be contributing to this higher rate, including higher exposure to cigarettes, lack of education and information about the effects of smoking and finding it harder to access healthcare and support.

The government is aiming for England to be smoke free by 2030. While the least deprived are on track to achieve this 5 years before the deadline, those from lower income households are not predicted to be smoke free until after 2040.  Those on a lower income have been shown to find it harder to quit smoking. Therefore it is really important to make sure there is easy access to stop smoking services to increase their chances of quitting for good and reducing the risk of smoking related illness.

If you would like advice and support on how to reach and maintain a healthy weight, eat a balanced diet, become more physically active, quit smoking and live a healthier lifestyle you can sign up with Get Healthy Rotherham. Click the register button to find out more.