More smokers in Redbridge and Waltham Forest quit during the coronavirus pandemic than the year before- NHS data shows.

With quitting success rates rising across England, the charity Action on Smoking and Health said smokers have been prompted by health fears from the Covid crisis.

NHS Digital data shows 720 people in Waltham Forest and 558 in Redbridge and set a date to quit using the NHS Stop Smoking Service between April last year and March.

At follow-up meetings held a month later, 657 residents from each borough said they had given up.

The previous year, 39 per cent of people in Waltham Forest said they had successfully quit smoking and 32 per cent of people in Redbridge.

Nationally, the self-reported quit rate rose from 51 per cent to 59 per cent over this period.

Hazel Cheeseman, deputy chief executive of Asthma UK and the British Lung Foundation, said: "Recent research highlighted that younger people appear to have been taking up or going back to smoking in larger numbers.

"It appears likely that for younger people the stress of lockdown has led to more smoking while for older smokers health fears have prompted more quitting.

"Overall, people have been quitting with greater success in the pandemic."

The figures show two under-18s in Redbridge and two in Waltham Forest set a date to quit last year, with none of them saying they had given up a month later.

The Department for Health and Social Care said UK smoking rates are at record low levels, and the Government was on track to make England smoke free by 2030.

A spokeswoman added: “We are addressing the damaging health implications of smoking right across the country, especially where rates remain stubbornly high.

"Our new Office for Health Improvement and Disparities will support efforts to level up public health and ensure no communities are left behind."