On average, adults in the North West spend over £2,700 on cigarettes each year - more than any other region in the UK - according to a new study, with just over 9% of a North West smoker's salary spent on the habit.
With some 5,715,351 adults over the legal smoking age in the region, the North West's smoking industry is huge business. According to new data from Babylon Health's Healthcheck survey, people in the area are estimated to spend more money on smoking annually (£3.54 billion), on average, than any other UK region.
Assessing the data collected from over 15,000 Healthcheck users as well as ONS data on average salaries, Babylon Health have also revealed that the average North West smoker spends 9.21% of their salary on cigarettes, putting the region third behind the North East (10.40%) and the East Midlands (9.82%).
Extrapolating the average number of cigarettes respondents said they smoked each day to get an idea of what the regions population would reflect, Babylon Health also discovered that the annual amount spent on smoking per person in the North West was £2,709, again putting the area third behind the East Midlands (£2,889) and the North East (£2,837).
"Every cigarette you smoke is harmful," reads the NHS' website on smoking. "Smoking is the biggest cause of preventable deaths in England, accounting for nearly 80,000 deaths each year; one in two smokers will die from a smoking-related disease.
"If you could see the damage, you'd stop," it adds. "When you smoke, the poisons from the tar in your cigarettes enter your blood. If you smoke, you are more likely to have a stroke. Your lungs can be very badly affected by smoking. Smoking causes 84% of deaths from lung cancer and 83% of deaths from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
"Smoking damages your heart and your blood circulation," it reads. "Smokers have an increased chance of getting stomach cancer or ulcers. Smoking causes unattractive problems such as bad breath and stained teeth. If you smoke, your skin ages more quickly and looks grey and dull. Smoking can cause male impotence."
For more information on how smoking affects your body, head to the NHS' Smokefree website at: https://www.nhs.uk/smokefree/why-quit/smoking-health-problems