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Brighton and Hove City Council
Release date: Friday, 18 July 2014

Harmful drinking, opiate drugs and tobacco use fall while E-cig, novel psychoactive substance use increases and obesity worsens, new ‘future’ report finds

The latest report from Brighton & Hove’s Director of Public Health, whose ‘Happiness’ report last year won a national award, asks the question: ‘What will life be like in Brighton & Hove?’  The report uses Office of National Statistics data, published research and lifestyle survey projections to describe life in Brighton & Hove in the year 2024.

“What will life be like in ten years time? It’s a serious question,” said Brighton & Hove City Council’s Dr Tom Scanlon. “And this has significant implications for planning, education, transport, health and social care – a lot of what the public health team in the council do for a living.”

Life in 2024 is different from today. Harmful alcohol consumption has dropped dramatically after the introduction of a national minimum unit price.  E-cigs are commonplace and tobacco use is increasingly confined to social venues like shisha bars. Opiate and crack cocaine use has fallen while novel psychoactive substances and legal highs are no longer so ‘novel’.  Women behave more like men sexually. Obesity remains the biggest public health challenge despite major inroads in areas such as food labelling as the food industry uses technology and astute methods to target consumers through social media. Climate change remains on the national and local political agenda with projected temperature rises appearing to materialise.

The growth of the city’s universities means that every other 20-24 year old is now a student. The city’s population is more ethnically diverse with 1 in 5 births to residents born in the wider EU. Bus journeys have doubled over the previous 20 years to 53 million, and cycle trips have quadrupled to 13,000.  Finding an ‘affordable home’ in Brighton & Hove remains a stubborn challenge.

“We take these reports seriously,” said Dr Scanlon. “So this is not a frivolous exercise or simply a hostage to fortune. We’ve used the best available data and published research to paint a picture of Brighton & Hove in 2024 with the aim of prompting a debate about how we might change it for the better.”

To download the report go to report

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