North Yorkshire County Council has signed the Local Government Declaration on Tobacco Control and joined the five local health chiefs from partner organisations across North Yorkshire in signing the NHS Statement of support for Tobacco Control.
Signing up to these campaigns highlights their shared commitment to tackling the harm smoking causes individuals and communities. Despite many years of progress on reducing the number of people who smoke, tobacco still remains one of the biggest public health challenges and is the leading cause of premature death in England.
Smoking is responsible for 5% of all hospital admissions in those over 35 and the cost of treating diseases caused by smoking is estimated to be over £2 billion annually. The NHS Statement, endorsed by NHS England, Public Health England and the BMA is a set of commitments made by local NHS organisations to tackle the harm caused by smoking.
County Councillor David Chance, North Yorkshire Executive Member for Public Health and Stronger Communities, said:
Studies show that two thirds of smokers want to quit, but around 16% of adults in North Yorkshire still smoke and it remains the county’s biggest killer, causing around 1,000 deaths in North Yorkshire every year.
Half of long-term smokers die prematurely from a smoking-related disease, and every month 61 people in North Yorkshire discover they have cancer caused by smoking. Anything that brings organisations together to work to reduce the availability and attractiveness of tobacco products is something we actively support. We also welcome the recent law to introduce plain packaging for tobacco that carries hard-hitting health warnings.
The organisations signing up to the Statement of Support include North Yorkshire County Council and all of the county’s five Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs). They have committed to:
- supporting work at a national and local level to reduce the number of people smoking and raising the profile of the harm caused by tobacco in their communities;
- reducing smoking in their communities by joining the Smoking Action Coalition, the alliance of organisations working to reduce the harm caused by tobacco;
- working with partners and local communities to address the causes and impacts of tobacco use;
- helping smokers who want to give up the habit by providing local and regional networks of support; and
- protecting their organisations and projects from the commercial and vested interests of the tobacco industry by not accepting any partnerships, payments, gifts, services, or research funding offered by the tobacco industry.
Smoke Free Action Coalition has backed the commitment:
We’re delighted that heath leaders in North Yorkshire, including and the County Council and the CCGs have signed the NHS Statement of Support and Local Government Declaration for tobacco control, and in doing so made this important pledge to work with local colleagues to reduce the harm caused by tobacco.
Katie Needham, Consultant in Public Health for North Yorkshire, said:
Signing the Statements reflect the work we are doing with our partners across the county to deliver the objectives of the North Yorkshire Tobacco Control Strategy, maximise the potential to support smokers who want to quit, and discourage young people to start smoking, as part of our Breathe 2025 campaign.
Breathe 2025 is the regional campaign to eliminate tobacco-related harms and health inequalities in the Yorkshire and The Humber area over the next ten years. The vision is to see the next generation of children born and raised in a place free from tobacco, where smoking is unusual.
The Breathe 2025 website has more campaign information www.breathe2025.org.uk
September is a great time to think about giving up tobacco: the annual Stoptober campaign sees thousands of people quit smoking for 28 days starting on 1 October. By making it to 28 days tobacco-free you are five times more likely to quit for good.
Smokers in North Yorkshire wanting to give up the habit have a wide range of support available through the Smokefreelife North Yorkshire service funded by the County Council. It offers out of hours support for people who work, and there are local clinics in community centres and GP surgeries. Smokers have the option of attending group sessions, receiving support through the Smokefreelife North Yorkshire online service or traditional one-to-one sessions with an advisor.
For more information about the Smokefreelife North Yorkshire stop smoking service or to sign up, ring 0800 246 5215 or 01609 663 023 or text QUIT to 66777.
Visit www.smokefreelifenorthyorkshire.co.uk for the nearest stop smoking clinic.