Smoking outside council buildings could soon be banned, as part of Calderdale Council’s work to help reduce smoking rates and have positive impacts on people’s health and the environment.
On Monday 12 September 2016, Calderdale Council’s Cabinet will consider recommendations from the Adults, Health and Social Care Scrutiny Panel:
– To commit to the Breathe 2025 initiative, which aims to inspire a smoke-free generation where children are born and raised in a place where smoking isn’t seen as the norm.
– To ban smoking in the grounds of council buildings and outside building entrances by January 2017.
– To remove smoking shelters outside council buildings.
These recommendations have also been made to Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust (CHFT) about their buildings. The Panel has also asked CHFT to sign the NHS Statement of Support for Tobacco Control. Calderdale Council was the first local authority in West Yorkshire to sign up to the Local Government Declaration on Tobacco Control, showing commitment to reducing smoking rates and highlighting the risk to health from tobacco.
Cllr Marilyn Greenwood, Chair of Calderdale Council’s Adults, Health and Social Care Scrutiny Panel, said:
“As we all know, smoking causes so many health problems and this is the most important reason for continuing to do as much as we can to help people kick the habit.
“It also makes financial sense. A couple who each smoke 10 cigarettes a day spend over £3000 per year, so quitting means more money for things like family holidays, home improvements or a car.
“A ban on smoking outside council and NHS buildings is one way that we can set a positive example. This would go alongside our work to encourage and support smokers to think about giving up, which includes highlighting the many advantages that quitting has on daily life.”
The Council continues to do lots of innovative work to tackle smoking, together with the NHS, schools and other organisations. Good progress is already being made. Over the past few years smoking prevalence in Calderdale has fallen and recent figures from Public Health England show that Calderdale has a better than average quit rate.
With a focus on prevention, the Council has recently made all Council-owned children’s playgrounds smoke-free to try to discourage young people from starting to smoke and create cleaner, healthier environments. It is also working with West Yorkshire Trading Standards and councils in West and East Yorkshire to tackle illegal tobacco sales and stop dealers who sell to children.
Calderdale was the first council in England to offer smokers caught dropping litter the chance to attend stop smoking sessions rather than pay a fine.
Smokers are four times more likely to successfully quit with support. The Council funds and supports a specialist NHS stop smoking service to help people quit. Anyone who wants to quit doesn’t have to do it alone and can get help at http://calderdale.yorkshiresmokefree.nhs.uk(external link). Stoptober is coming up and now is a great time to get a head start on quitting throughout October.