The council has thrown its weight behind government plans to create a ‘smokefree generation’.

Members of the health and wellbeing board for Westmorland and Furness Council have responded in favour to a consultation supporting the governments proposed measures which aim to reduce the number of smokers to less than five per cent of the population by 2030.

The director of health for Westmorland and Furness Council, Katrina Stephens, will now submit the response on behalf of the board.

The government has also announced additional funding for stop smoking services across the country, with Westmorland and Furness Council set to receive between £250,000 and £275,000 for the initiative.

Ms Stephens described the increase in funding as ‘hugely welcome’ and said: “It will allow us to increase access to stop smoking support for our residents.”

Amongst the government’s proposals to reduce smoking include making it an offence for anyone born on or after 1 January 2009 to be sold tobacco products, as well as restricting the flavours and descriptions of vapes so that vape flavours are no longer targeted at children.

Government plans also include regulating point of sale displays in retail outlets so that vapes are kept out of sight from children and away from products that appeal to them as well as considering restricting the sale of disposable vapes, which are linked to the rise in vaping in children.

Ms Stephens added: “These proposals really are the biggest change to how we approach smoking since the smoking ban.

"It’s a real opportunity for us to make a massive difference, because smoking continues to be the be the biggest contributor to health inequalities and the biggest cause of preventable and premature deaths.”

In Barrow 21 per cent of adults smoke and throughout England it is estimated that 13 per cent of adults smoke.

A council report titled tobacco free Lancashire and South Cumbria states: “Recorded life expectancy for smokers is at least 10 years shorter than for non-smokers with a disproportionate impact on those from poorer backgrounds where smoking prevalence is higher, as well as those suffering from mental health conditions.”

Figures show that across Lancashire and South Cumbria smoking is responsible for around 7,600 premature deaths and over 17,000 hospital admissions each year.

The government has set the target of by the year 2030 for England to be smoke free. This means that by 2030 less than five per cent of the population will smoke.

The report said currently Lancashire and South Cumbria are not on track to meet this ambition and according to Ms Stephens for Westmorland and Furness to hit this target, 10,000 people in the area will have to stop smoking without anyone else taking it up.