SMOKING rates in Bury are higher than the national average.

The smoking prevalence in Bury is 19.1 per cent compared to a national average of 15.5 per cent.

Cllr Catherine Preston said: “Smoking rates in Bury have always been worse than England and this is not surprising as smoking rates are associated with deprivation and Bury has higher than the national average levels of deprivation.”

However, Cllr Preston added that smoking rates among young people in Bury have dropped sharply.

In response to a question from Cllr Paul Adams about smoking rates submitted before the council meeting last week, Cllr Preston said: “8.7 per cent of 15-year-olds in Bury are current smokers, a drop from 21 per cent in 2004.”

She added a new Greater Manchester Tobacco Control Plan is expected which will be accommodated by a new Bury plan as the current tobacco control plan expires in April.