South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust joined Simon Stevens, Chief Executive of NHS England, and members of Parliament in the House of Commons to take a stand against the harm caused by tobacco at the launch of the NHS Statement of Support for Tobacco Control.
The NHS Statement, which is endorsed by NHS England, the Public Health Minister, Public Health England and the BMA amongst other leading health organisations, is a set of commitments made by local NHS organisations to tackle the harm caused by smoking.
Medical director Dr Adrian Berry signed the Statement on behalf of the Trust, making it one of the first local NHS organisations in the country to back the initiative.
Tobacco remains an enduring public health challenge and the leading cause of premature death and health inequalities in England. Smoking is responsible for 5% of all hospital admissions in those aged over 35 and the cost of smoking to the NHS is estimated to be £2 billion annually.
Smoking is the single biggest cause of preventable death across the UK. Each year smoking related illnesses result in over 80,000 deaths.
Dr Berry said: “The Trust is delighted to support the NHS Statement of Support for Tobacco Control to combat the effects of smoking in our region. Our stop smoking service, Yorkshire Smokefree, provides support to people in a number of ways to make it as easy as possible to quit. We’re confident that with our range of help, which includes online, telephone and face to face advice, we can bring down the shocking figures related to smoking harm and help people to live healthier lives.”
Simon Stevens, Chief Executive, 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.”
Professor John Moxham, Director of Clinical Strategy, King’s Health Partners and Chair, Action on Smoking and Health said: “The relationship between tobacco consumption and health inequalities is not widely understood but it is by far the most important single factor in the difference in life expectancies between social classes.
“Tackling tobacco provides one of the great opportunities to transform public health, and the NHS has a key role to play. I am delighted to see NHS organisations signing the Statement of Support and leading the way in preventing the harm caused by smoking.”
Paul Burstow MP, Chair of the APPG on Smoking and Health, hosted the event. He said: “If we are to protect the health of future generations and prevent our young people from taking up a deadly habit, it is crucial that the whole health system works together. I’m delighted to see so many local NHS organisations signing the NHS Statement of Support for Tobacco Control.”
To find out more about Yorkshire Smokefree, visit www.yorkshiresmokefree.nhs.uk or call 01924 378718, 0800 6120011 (free from landlines) or 0330 6601166 (free from most mobiles).