Tobacco control

Tobacco control

Smoking remains the greatest contributor to premature death and disease across Northumberland and it is estimated that up to half the difference in life expectancy between the most and least affluent groups is associated with smoking.

In Northumberland, smoking prevalence is around the national average, although death rates from smoking are statistically, significantly higher than the rest of England.

Consultation and feedback

Over the past two years, NHS North of Tyne focussed on developing robust mechanisms to make sure that local people across Northumberland have the opportunity to influence decisions about health developments.

Engagement activity includes regular meetings with some groups in the rural communities and also better links being developed with black and minority ethnic communities and with the deaf community.

During 2009/10, the engagement team supported close involvement by the NHS stop smoking service team and NHS health trainers with the health and race equality forum (HAREF) to discuss Supari addiction, which is linked with oral cancer. Further action is planned.

Social marketing

During 2009/10, NHS North of Tyne used social marketing in strategic programming and the development of public health campaigns.

Scoping work was undertaken to help us to tailor stop smoking messages for routine and manual groups to attract them in to NHS Stop Smoking Services and better support them in their quit attempts. Key messages and insights arising from this work as follows:
  • family, and especially children, are important to this group of people
  • they are motivated to stop smoking by positive localised publicity, personal requests from their children or their hope for a future family
  • they are aware of the negative effects of passive smoking and alter their behaviour accordingly
  • routine and manual workers would rather be given choices on how to stop smoking - when they are ready to do so
  • they need a friendly, supportive and non-judgemental stop smoking service incorporated into their work days
  • they want to take advantage of a time when they tend not to smoke, to incorporate their new habit of not smoking and doing other healthy, relaxing activities in their everyday lives

Key documents

  • a smokefree future: the new tobacco control strategy for England, published in February 2010, establishes a vision of eradicating tobacco harms and creating a smoke free future , so that we can support people to live healthier and longer lives
  • smoking kills: a white paper on tobacco 1998 – a comprehensive tobacco control strategy
  • fresh: smoke free North East regional tobacco strategy delivered by a coalition of organisations and partners under the umbrella term of fresh
  • tobacco control in the state of health overview, provides additional data
  • statistics can be found on the state of health web page