Dr Jonathan Wells, Chair and Clinical Lead, NHS Redditch and Bromsgrove Clinical Commissioning Group, Health Column
THERE have been a number of initiatives and changes to law over the last 10 years in an attempt to encourage smokers to quit and help people who don’t smoke avoid passive smoking.
The first real drive towards cutting smoking came in 2007 when new laws came into force, meaning that smokers could no longer light up in enclosed public spaces, including pubs and clubs.
The introduction of the smokefree laws has had a large impact on the number of people smoking, seeing the percentage of smokers in England drop from 29 per cent in 2005 to 18.4 per cent in 2013, and even lower in Worcestershire to 17.8 per cent.
The latest initiative to reduce the effects of smoking comes into force on Thursday, October 1 – it will be illegal to smoke in vehicles with someone under the age of 18 present. This is a very important and welcome change, as many people will just open a window and presume this will remove all the smoke from the car, when in fact around 80 per cent of the harmful gases produced by smoking a cigarette are invisible.
With all of this in place, there’s never been a better time to try and quit this very unhealthy habit and Stoptober is just around the corner if you just need that little bit of extra support.
Stoptober takes place in October every year, encouraging people to give up smoking for 28 days of the month, to increase their chances of quitting for good.
If you’d like to know more about the campaign and where you can find local stop smoking services, visit www.nhs.uk/smokefree.
To stay up-to-date, follow @RB_CCG and @RBCCG_Chair on Twitter.