The NHS and Tower Hamlets Council take a stand on smoking

The NHS and Tower Hamlets Council are taking a stand against the harm caused by tobacco by presenting the NHS Statement of Support for Tobacco Control [1] at the Tower Hamlets Health and Wellbeing Board. The statement was presented to the board on 10 March 2015 ahead of No Smoking Day on 11 March.  

The NHS Statement, which is endorsed by NHS England, the Public Health Minister, Public Health England and the British Medical Association (BMA) amongst other leading health organisations, is a set of commitments made by local NHS organisations to tackle the harm caused by smoking.

Tobacco remains an enduring public health challenge and the leading cause of premature death and health inequalities in England [2]. Smoking is responsible for 5% of all hospital admissions in those aged over 35 [3] and the cost of smoking to the NHS is estimated to be £2 billion annually [4]. 

In Tower Hamlets, about 19 per cent of people smoke. Smoking is the biggest cause of premature death in the borough. Also, more people are admitted to hospital with smoking-related problems than most other parts of the country.

The Statement provides a public commitment to work towards further reducing smoking prevalence; to demonstrate a commitment to take action; and to publicise the NHS’s dedication to protect local communities from the harm caused by smoking. It also reinforces the signatory’s commitment to protect tobacco control work from the vested interests of the tobacco industry.

Mayor of Tower Hamlets and Chair of the Health and Wellbeing Board Lutfur Rahman, said:

“Although smoking rates are decreasing in Tower Hamlets, smoking is still the number one killer and often disproportionately affects vulnerable people. The council aims to support smokers who want to stop, and help prevent people from starting in the first place. That's why the NHS Statement of Support for Tobacco Control is such an important initiative.”

Jim Fitzpatrick, MP for Poplar and Limehouse, attended the parliamentary launch of the statement on 23 February 2015 said:

“If we are to protect the health of future generations and prevent our young people from taking up a deadly habit, it is crucial that the whole health system works together. I’m delighted to see so many local NHS organisations signing the NHS Statement of Support for Tobacco Control.”

Sir Sam Everington, local GP and chair of NHS Tower Hamlets CCG said:

“Tackling tobacco provides one of the great opportunities to transform public health, and the NHS has a key role to play. I am delighted to see NHS organisations in Tower Hamlets signing the Statement of Support and leading the way in preventing the harm caused by smoking”

Stopping smoking is the best thing you can do for your health. By stopping, you reduce the chances of you and people around you who inhale your cigarette smoke, getting lung cancer, heart disease, stroke and other related illnesses.

“With the right attitude and support, you can stop. Take the time to speak to your local pharmacy, GP, or the NHS Stop Smoking Service today.”

For further information on local stop smoking services visit: www.towerhamlets.gov.uk/stopsmoking

 

[1] For more information on the NHS Statement of Support for Tobacco Control please visit http://smokefreeaction.org.uk/declaration/NHSstatement.html

[2] ONS, General Lifestyle Survey 2011, Chapter 1 Smoking, 2013 http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/ghs/general-lifestyle-survey/2011/rpt-chapter-1.html

[3] HSCIC, Statistics on Smoking in England 2014 http://www.hscic.gov.uk/catalogue/PUB14988/smok-eng-2014-rep.pdf

[4] ASH Ready Reckoner, 2014: http://ash.org.uk/localtoolkit/docs/Reckoner.xls

[5] For more information on the Local Government Declaration please visit: http://www.smokefreeaction.org.uk/declaration/