Councillors agreed to consider the idea of trialling a smoking cessation incentive scheme, to start later this year, at the adults and health committee meeting on Monday, 30th May.
In Cheshire East, approximately 10.5 per cent of the general population and 10.8 per cent of pregnant residents (at the time of birth) smoke tobacco.
Smoking is the leading cause of preventable illness and premature death in England, with about half of all lifelong smokers dying prematurely, losing on average around 10 years of life. Smoking also costs the economy approximately £13bn a year, including costs of £3bn to the NHS and to social care.
Dr Matt Tyrer, director of public health at Cheshire East Council, said: "There is strong evidence showing that offering financial rewards to stop smoking, combined with regular carbon monoxide testing to prove smoking status, can be very effective in reducing smoking rates and achieving successful quits.
"We're looking to consider a similar innovative approach by providing vouchers, as part of a wider package of support, to encourage people to quit smoking for good and ultimately make our residents' lives healthier and happier.
"Providing vouchers for relatively small sums of money to encourage people to quit smoking is highly cost-effective, because the long-term health benefits of quitting smoking are so great, along with the financial savings of more than £4,500 a year for someone who used to smoke 20 cigarettes a day.
"Quitting smoking is also one of the best things a woman and her partner can do to protect their baby's health through pregnancy and beyond."
The adults and health committee will consider a further report on 18 July 2022, which will set out the options for providing financial incentives to support smoking cessation.