NHS needs help in battle against tobacco

NHS Ayrshire & Arran needs the public’s help in developing a ten-year plan to tackle the number one cause of preventable death in Scotland – tobacco.

The new draft Tobacco Strategy, backed up by a comprehensive action plan, sets out local NHS ambitions to help prevent people taking up smoking, protect people from the risks of tobacco, and help smokers who want to give up.

The new Tobacco Strategy builds on the work of the past six years, which have seen a range of important developments. These include: the establishment of the Fresh Air-shire service for one-to-one, group and telephone support;

the smoke-free cars and homes project to protect people at risk of second-hand smoke; working with local companies to develop their own workplace tobacco policies; and school-based smoking prevention programmes.

The ambitious draft strategy and action plan go further. The proposals include: Influencing legislation to restrict the promotion of tobacco to young people and young adults; Ensuring shops observe age restrictions and legislation;

Identifying non-smoking ‘Champions’; and More help to stop smoking for pregnant women, children and young people and those living in areas of deprivation.

Dr Carol Davidson, Executive Director of Public Health, wants to ensure that the final strategy and action plan reflect the views of the public.

She commented: “We want to ensure that this strategy and action plan will meet the needs of local people. During an earlier period of engagement in 2011, almost 90 per cent of those who responded agreed with our vision of ‘moving towards a smoke-free Ayrshire and Arran’. We hope this strategy reflects those views, so I would encourage people to read our short consultation booklet and answer the questions in it.”

A copy of the consultation booklet, along with the full draft strategy and action plan, is available from: www.nhsaaa.net/howtogetinvolved or mcmillanmh@aapct.scot.nhs.uk or by writing free to Freepost RSCZ-HSKB-BELA, Ayr, KA6 6AB.

You can also follow us on Twitter @NHSaaa or find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/nhsaaa

Please send your responses by Thursday 31 May 2012.