Public health bosses launch plan to make London smokefree by 2030
The NHS has joined forces with MPs, academics and the Greater London Authority GLA) to form the London Tobacco Alliance, which will highlight the harms caused by smoking and promote smoke-free environments.
Almost one million Londoners smoke and tobacco is still killing one in two of its users in the UK, according to the Alliance. Around 5,939 Londoners die each year due to the habit, they estimate.
Statistics show that, while smoking prevalence is lower in London than the UK average, the rate is significantly higher in poorer boroughs. A fifth of residents (20 per cent) in the capital’s most deprived boroughs smoke - compared to just 4 per cent in more wealthy areas.
Members of the alliance will co-ordinate efforts to advertise the benefits of quitting and ensure that “no children born today” will ever take up the habit.
Bob Blackman, MP for Harrow and Chair of the APPG on Tobacco said: “My parents died when I was 23. They both died of cancer. Both died because of smoking. We had two years prior to their death of terrible experience, in terms of health and me seeing my parents die literally in front of me.
“I don’t want any family to go through that and so therefore for me, it’s not just a health-related issue or a community issue. For me it’s personal.
“If we can actually make this work then we reduce down the terrible impact that tobacco has on society.”
Professor Kevin Fenton, Regional Director for London Office for Health Improvement and Disparities said: “Regional Tobacco Alliances work. We have great examples of where they’ve been highly effective in other parts of the country and we’re now keen to bring the learning and expertise from that to bring to bear here in London.
“Through the alliance we’ll be able to understand what’s being delivered in the city at this time, where the gaps are and how working together we can help to fill those gaps and ensure we are more than the sum of our parts.”
Tracy Parr, Programme Director, London Tobacco Alliance and Stop Smoking London said: “The London Tobacco Alliance will act as a regional voice to make London smokefree by 2030 and will focus on the inequalities around smoking. We already have a number of key partners including OHID, ASH, NHS England, the GLA as well as Directors for Public Health and London Trading Standards.”
Source: Daniel Keane, Yahoo Life UK