Nottingham City Council will make 2016 a ‘Smokefree Summer’ as it looks to dramatically reduce the number of smokers in the city.
Key family events in public spaces will be declared ‘smokefree’ in a bid to protect children and young people.
The ambitious move is part of the Council’s latest five-year Tobacco Control Strategy, which sets out plans to confront the issue. Startling new figures show that:
- More than one in every four adults (around 64,000) in Nottingham is a smoker – compared with fewer than one-in-five nationally;
- In terms of smoking prevalence, Nottingham is 20 years behind the national average;
- Tobacco is responsible for half of the difference in life expectancy between Nottingham’s poorest and most affluent communities;
- 22 per cent of households in the city allow smoking in the home around children;
- The total cost to the NHS locally every year to deal with smoking-related ill-health is about £11m;
- Around 268 million cigarettes and roll-ups are smoked in the city every year, generating 46 tonnes of litter;
- Smoking-related illness costs the City Council an additional £3m annually to provide care for smokers and ex-smokers.
The strategy will be officially launched during the Health and Wellbeing Board meeting on Wednesday 27 January before members from the Council, NHS and other public-sector organisations.
The clear vision is to reduce the harm that tobacco use inflicts on communities and work together to secure a smokefree generation in Nottingham, for whom the social norm is not to light up. The other aim is to tackle the issue of illegal tobacco supply.
One of the main actions will be to follow the success of smokefree events last year at the Beach and Winter Wonderland, in Old Market Square.
A number of key Nottingham family events this summer will become smokefree, including the Lord Mayor’s Parade; the family area at the Riverside Festival; outdoor theatre at Wollaton, the castle and Newstead; plus the Beach and Wonderland again.
This was well respected and proved overwhelmingly popular last year, with 91 per cent of people surveyed afterwards saying they would support more family events being smokefree in the future.
The City Council was the first in the East Midlands in 2011 to introduce a voluntary ban on smoking in playgrounds and around school gates. It was followed by a motion passed in September 2014 where the authority agreed to use new legislation to introduce more smokefree areas where the public wanted them.
Councillor Alex Norris, Portfolio Holder for Adults and Health at the City Council, said: “Smoking has a huge impact on the health of Nottingham’s citizens. It’s a major cause of illness and explains much of the differences in health between the richest and poorest people in our city.
“It’s right that across all organisations in the health community we make this a priority and we’re delighted to announce this programme of events.
“This is not about preaching to people but about making a concerted effort to raise the awareness of damage that smoking causes, of the positive alternatives we can offer and, critically, break the cycle of smoking being passed down the generations.”
Anyone wanting more information or support to stop smoking can contact New Leaf on 0800 561 2121 or 0115 883 1540, text NEW to 80800 or visit http://www.newleafstopsmoking.co.uk