Stopping smoking is everyone’s business
Business leaders support Yorkshire Smokefree’s message
Yorkshire Smokefree is launching a new campaign aimed at workplaces across the region.
The service is currently run by South West Yorkshire NHS Foundation Trust on behalf of local authorities in Barnsley, Calderdale, Doncaster, Kirklees, Rotherham, Sheffield and Wakefield.
Smokefree is promoting the message that “stopping smoking is everyone’s business” as part of a year-long campaign which is targeting routine and manual workers, who are the biggest group of smokers across Yorkshire.
Barnsley & Rotherham and Doncaster chambers of commerce have pledged their support for the campaign which is asking companies to open their doors to the service’s advisors so that they can help smokers quit. Businesses are also being asked to let staff to attend smoking cessation services during working hours without loss of pay.
Andrew Denniff, Chief Executive of Barnsley & Rotherham Chamber of Commerce, said: “Smoking is bad for business. The costs to employers are lost productivity through cigarette breaks and increased absence due to ill health.
Dan Fell, chief executive of Doncaster Chamber of Commerce, added: “We’re urging businesses to work with Yorkshire Smokefree and also develop a workplace smoking policy. Helping staff to stop also reduces the potential for breaches of workplace smoking regulations.”
Nationally smokers are 33% more likely to miss work than non-smokers and smokers are absent for an average 2.7 extra days per year than non-smokers. 70% of smokers say they would like to stop. Employers who provide cessation support could also improve compliance with regulations around no smoking in workplaces or vehicles.
Sean Rayner, South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust’s District Director, said: “Yorkshire Smokefree is making progress on getting local people to quit. Up to 20% of smokers in some of our areas have ditched cigarettes over the past four years on record.
“Despite big improvements there’s still much more to do. This new campaign is all about us working in new ways and developing new links with local businesses in order to reach smokers.”
Innovation is key to the new approach and Smokefree staff are embracing new ways of working, engaging with business leaders face to face by attending local chamber events. Teams are also targeting other key groups of smokers, such as those on low incomes, by relocating their offices to markets. This is having a big impact in reaching clients from deprived communities.
There are lots of ways to give up smoking and there is help to find a way tailored to each individual’s specific needs. Some clients may get free nicotine replacement therapy or Champix depending on eligibility. For more information people should call Yorkshire Smokefree for advice and tips on quitting smoking: 0800 612 0011 (free from landlines) or 0330 660 1166 (free from mobiles) or visit the website yorkshiresmokefree.nhs.uk