Nottingham welcomes ambition for a smoke-free nation

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  • New report proposals echo Nottingham’s ambition to create a smoke-free city
  • Smoking remains above the national average in Nottingham
  • Raft of measures underway in the city to reduce smoking
  • Help and support is available in Nottingham for those wishing to quit

A proposed package of actions that aims to reduce the number of people who smoke has been welcomed by Nottingham City Council.

The national report, called Making Smoking Obsolete, has a clear call to action for how England could become smoke-free. Produced by Dr Javed Khan, the former chief executive of Barnardo’s, the report published this week (9 June) proposes:

  • investing in smoke free policies and local stop smoking services
  • looking at the age of sale of tobacco products
  • the promotion of vaping as a tool to quit smoking
  • improving prevention in the NHS

Smoking is the single largest cause of preventable death and disease in Nottingham. Just over one in five (20.9%) adults in Nottingham are smokers – higher than the England average of 13.9% and the fourth highest smoking prevalence among all local authority areas in England.

Smoking and tobacco control has recently been identified as a priority in the Joint Health & Wellbeing Strategy for Nottingham.

Cllr Linda Woodings, Portfolio Holder for Adult Social Care and Health in Nottingham, said: “I welcome the recommendations in this report; we have to do all we can to reduce smoking in our city and in the country as a whole.

“The facts speak for themselves: smoking tobacco remains the greatest preventable cause of illness, early death and the biggest cause of cancer, with one in four deaths from all cancers estimated to be caused by smoking.

“However, we also know that the negative impact of smoking doesn’t affect everyone equally. We see much higher levels of smoking among those citizens, families and communities that are already the most disadvantaged in Nottingham. We have to take action to prevent this.

“The SmokeFree 2030 ambition in England will only be achieved by bold changes. This report provides a package of actions for consideration and inclusion in a much-needed national tobacco plan.”

Tobacco imposes a significant economic burden on society. In addition to the direct medical costs of treating tobacco-induced illnesses, there are other indirect costs including loss of productivity, fire damage and environmental harm from cigarette litter and destructive farming practices.

Each year it is estimated that smoking costs Nottingham about £137m; this includes £115m in lost productivity, £12m in healthcare costs and £6.82m in costs to social care.

In Nottingham, recent work to reduce smoking includes:

  • Creating smoke-free playgrounds, events such as the Beach and Winter Wonderland, as well as spaces around school gates
  • Supporting people to quit smoking through the Stub It! Service in Nottingham. Individuals are three times more likely to successfully quit smoking with the help of trained advisors
  • Nottingham Trading Standards service does a variety of work enforcing legislative compliance, including disrupting illegal tobacco sales. More than 217,000 illegal cigarettes have been seized in Nottingham in the last two years as part of the city’s commitment to tackling the sale of illegal tobacco
  • A locally-co-ordinated ‘Love Bump’ campaign to encourage pregnant women to stop smoking

Cllr Woodings added: “Nottingham is committed to becoming a smoke-free city. We have recently formed a new Smoking and Tobacco Alliance to bring people from a variety of local organisations together. This group will support the development of our roadmap to a smoke-free future to reduce health inequalities and improve the lives of those living in Nottingham.”

The Khan Report can be read here: www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-khan-review-making-smoking-obsolete

Find out more about the Stub it! service here: www.ncgpa.org.uk/support-for-people-who-live-in-nottingham-city. Information on the cost and impact of smoking can be found here: https://ash.org.uk/ash-local-toolkit/ash-ready-reckoner-2022/

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