(c) Kirstin Innes
By Ludo Thierry (real name)
Please note – There are various good numbers which I’m not quoting because they represent year-on-year change. I have only picked out numbers which show some continuing change over a reasonable time frame. Making changes in Public Health is a very long-term project. There is often some low-hanging fruit to be picked – but making sustained change over longer time-frames is indicative of a focussed and energetic approach by the lead Dept. and good feedback processes within the teams involved in National and Local delivery. My contention is that the figures reiterate that a focussed and energetic SNP Scottish Govt is beginning to deliver some real and major impacts in this area:
SMOKING: The proportion of adults smoking has fallen to 18 per cent, down from 21 per cent in 2016 and 28 per cent in 2003. The proportion of adults that have never smoked increased to 56 per cent (from 50 per cent in 2003).
The proportion of non-smoking adults exposed to second-hand smoke (based on detectable salivary cotinine) also declined significantly from 85 per cent in 2003 to 24 per cent in 2016/2017. The proportion of children exposed to second-hand smoke in the home (6 per cent) remained at a similar level to 2015 and 2016 (6 per cent and 7 per cent respectively) following a drop from 11 per cent in 2014.
OBESITY: Prevalence of children at risk of obesity in 2017 was 13 per cent, with levels showing a steady decline since 2014 (levels were 16-17 per cent between 2003 and 2014).
ALCOHOL: Twenty four per cent of adults drank at hazardous or harmful levels in 2017, down from 34 per cent in 2003. The proportion of adults saying they did not drink alcohol increased to 17 per cent (from 11 per cent in 2003).
DENTITION: The proportion of adults with 20 or more natural teeth increased (by 5-7 percentage points) in each deprivation quintile between 2008 and 2017. However there is still a gap between the most deprived (65%) and least deprived areas (86%).
GAMBLING: Adult gambling activity participation decreased from 70 per cent in 2012 to 63 per cent in 2017; largely driven by a decrease in National Lottery participation from 58 per cent in 2012 to 46 per cent in 2017.