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‘Stop before your op’ is message from local healthcare leaders on National No Smoking Day

Wednesday, 11 March, 2015
‘Stop before your op’ is message from local healthcare leaders on National No Smoking Day

Health and social care leaders in Northumberland and North Tyneside are joining forces on national No Smoking Day 2015 to encourage people to kick the habit once and for all.

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, which runs hospital and community services in North Tyneside and hospital, community and adult social care services in Northumberland, has become one of the first NHS organisations in the country to support a national drive calling for the NHS to work with local authority partners to help reduce the harm caused by tobacco.

Respiratory consultant, Dr Gbenga Afolabi works at North Tyneside General Hospital and regularly treats many patients suffering from smoking related illnesses.  He was joined this week by local North Tyneside councillor Lesley Spillard whose portfolio of work includes improving public health and wellbeing, as well as adult social care. 

North Tyneside Council is also supporting the national NHS Statement of Support for Tobacco Control [1] launched last month and working with Northumbria Healthcare to reducing smoking prevalence amongst the local population.  Dr Afolabi recently joined Simon Stevens, Chief Executive of NHS England in the House of Commons at the national launch. 

Commenting on the initiative, Dr Afolabi said:  “We know that smoking continues to be the leading cause of premature death and health inequalities in England and this is particularly true for the North East.  We are very proud to be supporting the national drive for the NHS to work more closely with local authority partners to help tackle harm caused by tobacco.”

The NHS Statement of Support for Tobacco Control is a set of commitments made by local NHS organisations to tackle the harm caused by smoking.  It is endorsed by NHS England, Public Health England and the British Medical Association amongst other leading health organisations,

To coincide with No Smoking Day 2015, Northumbria Healthcare has also launched a new ‘Stop before your op’ patient information leaflet which gives contact details for local stop smoking services as well as practical tips and hints to help people give up smoking before their treatment and beyond.

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]. 

Simon Stevens, chief executive of NHS England said: “Smoking is coming down – but it’s still our country’s number one killer. And it’s the single biggest medical reason why poorer people die sooner. Our job in the NHS is to help support the majority of smokers who want to quit and to help push for policies that prevent people getting hooked in the first place. That’s why the NHS Statement of Support for Tobacco Control is a great initiative – and why I encourage all NHS organisations to consider joining the 25 who are already leading the way.”

Nearly one in five adults in the UK smoke, increasing the risk of coronary heart disease, stroke and a variety of cancers. The good news is that stopping smoking is the single best thing you can do for your heart health and the risk to your health decreases significantly soon after stopping.

Northumbria Healthcare runs a comprehensive stop smoking service with trained advisors who offer free friendly support and advice to help you stop smoking.  Your advisor can also recommend the most appropriate medication to help you deal with any cravings.

The stop smoking service runs a variety of one-to-one sessions, support groups and drop-in sessions in a wide range of venues including GP practices, pharmacies and community centres in Northumberland and North Tyneside.

To make an appointment, simply contact your local advisor during office hours, from 9.00am – 5.00pm, Monday to Friday. You can leave an answer phone message outside of these times and an advisor will get back to you.

·         If you live in Northumberland please call 01670 813135.

·         If you live in North Tyneside please call 0345 2000 101

Councillor Lesley Spillard, whose cabinet portfolio at North Tyneside Council covers public health, said:  “No Smoking Day is an excellent focal point for smokers who want to quit.  We hope that smokers will use the day to think about their health and take the first step to quitting by contacting our free Stop Smoking Service, or asking their GP or pharmacist.”