HEALTH bosses will target smokers on Colchester’s Greenstead estate.

The town’s St Andrews ward is one of six problem areas NHS North Essex Essex is desperate to tackle.

But the primary care trust has refused to say name the other five tobacco troublespots.

Initiatives include giving residents incentives to make a stop-smoking pledge.

Tim Young, ward councillor, speaking at a community meeting in Greenstead, said: “The figures for women smoking during pregnancy are not so good for this area, so I have asked NHS officers to look at the demographics of this.

“We think it is younger age groups that are smoking during pregnancy and people living in deprived wards in the borough.”

According to figures from NHS North East Essex, 19 per cent of people living in Colchester and Tendring smoke.

The national figure is 21 per cent.

A total of 22.5 per cent of pregnant women in north-east Essex smoke. The national average is 14 per cent.

Alison Woolnough, senior public health specialist at NHS North East Essex, said: “Smoking, particularly during pregnancy, is a persistant problem in this area.”

Council officials, health bosses and Essex County Fire and Rescue Service have joined forces to encourage people to make their homes smoke free.

The Smoke Free Homes campaign asks householders to promise to turn their homes into healthier places by banning or restricting tobacco smoke.

People who sign up will get a support pack containing information leaflets, smoke-free signs, a certificate and a free fire safety visit.