HELP to stop smoking in Wiltshire has received continuing funding from Wiltshire Council, bucking a trend in the South West that has seen investment fall by a third since 2014.

Public Health initiatives run by the council include a specialist stop smoking advisor, who can work with adults wanting to kick the habit.

However there is no dedicated stop smoking service in the county, according to Anti smoking charity Action on Smoking Health (ASH)

ASH say local authorities across the South West have cut services by up to 38 per cent after £200m was taken out of Central Government Public Health pots, stretching preventative services.

The charity say spending per smoker has also fallen by 26 per cent, from £14.63 per smoker in 2014 to £10.87 per smoker in 2017.

Speaking when all Wiltshire Council buildings and surrounding areas become smoke free last month, cabinet member for Public Health Jerry Wickham said: “We are proud to be smokefree. We are determined to promote our hubs as more welcoming environments for visitors.

“We know it’s a big challenge to give up but we have plenty of support to help people on their way to becoming smokefree.”

Kruti Shrotri cancer prevention policy manager at Cancer Research UK said: “The UK Government needs to reverse its cuts to public health budgets in England. Smokers in disadvantaged circumstances generally find quitting harder but are around three times more likely to quit successfully with the help of stop smoking services. We can’t deny those most in need of vital help that could save their life.”

The charity claims Wiltshire Council is one of 28 per cent of authorities which has no budget for wider tobacco control such as trading standards enforcement for illicit trade.

Smoking is the cause of 600 premature deaths in Wiltshire each year.

Awaiting new comment from Wiltshire Council.