Nottingham City Council is hoping to help more people quit smoking following the news that the number of smokers in the city has fallen again.
Ahead of national No Smoking Day tomorrow (March 9), the authority has revealed that latest Citizen Survey figures show adult smoking prevalence has now dropped to 24 per cent – down from 37 per cent in 2009 when the city’s first Tobacco Control Strategy was launched.
The Health and Wellbeing Board announced a second strategy in January, which will run until 2020. Part of that includes the vision of ‘inspiring a smokefree generation’ and will be supported by a number of events this summer where the public will be asked not to light up.
Evidence shows that one of the most effective ways of preventing young people from taking up the habit is not seeing adults smoking around them.
No Smoking Day, organised by the British Heart Foundation, is a day where smokers across the UK can choose to take their last cigarette. It aims to support people who have decided they want to quit, and complements the work already done in Nottingham to reduce the number of city smokers.
Locally, people wanting to give up tobacco should contact New Leaf on 0800 561 2121 or text ‘NEW’ to 80800. Friendly and trained advisers can help form an action plan and provide stop-smoking products to ease cravings, including nicotine replacement therapy.
Evidence suggests people who seek stop-smoking help are four times more likely to succeed.
Councillor Alex Norris, Portfolio Holder for Adults and Health at Nottingham City Council, said: “It’s really encouraging news that these latest figures show smoking prevalence in the city is continuing to fall.
“However, let’s be clear. We still have a way to go to close the gap on the rest of the country. When we launched our second tobacco strategy in January, we said that we were 20 years behind the national average and that this leads to massive health inequalities in Nottingham.
“Through our plans for a Smokefree Summer this year and by signposting people to support networks like New Leaf, we hope we can reduce the number of smokers yet further.
“Similarly to the No Smoking Day campaign, we’re not looking to preach to people. Instead we hope to raise awareness of the damage that smoking causes, offer help to people who want to quit and, crucially, break the cycle of this habit being passed down through generations.”
Nottingham City Council’s Smokefree Summer follows the success of a voluntary smoking ban last year at the Beach and Winter Wonderland events in Old Market Square. A public survey afterwards showed that 91 per cent of respondents wanted to see more family events being made smokefree.
A comprehensive list of events included in the city’s Smokefree Summer will be announced in the coming weeks.