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Rotherham Tobacco Alliance relaunches to support smokers to quit

Published on Thursday, 15th September 2016 in Health and wellbeing news

The Rotherham Tobacco Alliance has re-launched to welcome new members and re-visit its priorities with the aim to achieve the national vision of creating a 'Smokefree generation by 2025'.

In addition to the Council, NHS Rotherham Clinical Commissioning Group, The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust and Yorkshire Smoke Free, new members include South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue and Voluntary Action Rotherham.

The strengthened Alliance aims to provide a refreshed approach to how all members tackle the impact of smoking across the borough by tapping into joint resources.

As part of the re-launch, the Alliance has created three themes: 'Prevent, Reduce, Quit' to enable Alliance members align their tobacco control strategies under these key themes so that there is a common framework to inform, engage and involve, more Rotherham people to live healthier, longer, smoke free lives.

Cabinet Member for Public Health, Cllr David Roche and the Chair of the Rotherham Tobacco Alliance and Rotherham Health and Wellbeing board said: "Improving people's quality of life and health is a key priority for us. I am therefore really pleased that a number of major partners have come together to re-launch the Alliance.

“One of our aims is to work more closely together to encourage people to quit smoking and support those that make that choice."

Regionally, Yorkshire and the Humber reported the highest proportion of successful quitters (56 percent). With Rotherham achieving 3,199 quitters for 2014/15 against the England average of 2,829. The Alliance aims to build on and continue this trend.

Although Rotherham has seen a major shift with low smoking rates in Rotherham; now only 18.1 percent adults smoke, smoking still remains as the major cause of preventable death and harms not just smokers but the people around them, through the damaging effects of second hand smoke.

Smoking is an addiction that takes hold largely in childhood and adolescence, with the vast majority of smokers starting to use tobacco regularly before the age of 18.

Dr Julie Kitlowski, Chair at NHS Rotherham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: "We are keen to work together with all our partners to continue to improve the health of Rotherham people. Our three main causes of death are circulatory, respiratory and cancer. Smoking is a major factor contributing to the development of these three conditions. Helping people to stop smoking is the most important thing that we can do together to help our people live longer healthier lives."

"One action we are taking is that we are looking at encouraging our own staff not to smoke, as one of the many ways to improve their own health as part of our healthy workforce initiative."

In addition, Manager of Yorkshire Smokefree, Simon Lister said: "I think it's about changing culture within organisations from 'this is not my problem', to 'yes it is'. Changing organisational culture isn't always an easy thing, however with this renewed focus we can reach more people, measure the impact of our actions and drive engagement with smokers."

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