Businesses across North Glasgow are being urged to get behind their local Community Health and Care Partnership’s plans for next month’s No Smoking Day. Around 20 representatives from large and small organisations locally have attended a groundbreaking event at Ruchill Parish Church (on Friday February 1st 2008), designed to encourage them to make plans of their own for No Smoking Day next month.
No Smoking Day (NSD) 2008 is on the 12th March and the national theme is The Great No Smoking Day Challenge. In North Glasgow the challenge is to get as many local businesses, employers and other community organisations as possible involved.
Brenda Friel, North Glasgow CHCP’s Keep Well Tobacco Coordinator, explains: “Every year we organise special events for No Smoking Day. Normally that focuses on the health service or other public sector organisations and what we can do to help you quit, but this year the aim is to make it a real community-wide event and to try to get business and employers on-board.
“We at the CHCP can do a huge amount to help you give up, like offering classes, one-to-one and group support, Nicotine Replacement Therapy and even befriending. But your boss or your housing association or the wee shop down the road can also make it much easier for you to quit smoking if they can give you the right support, so Friday was all about encouraging them to help in whatever way they can.
“More adults smoke here in the North of Glasgow than anywhere else in the country and it’s no coincidence that we face some of the biggest problems related to poverty here as well. So helping to cut smoking rates isn’t just a goal for the health service, but for business and all groups with a vested interest in making this a healthier place to live and work.
“Friday’s briefing was about showing these organisations how they can do their bit. Tobacco is one of the biggest killers in this area and the groups represented here today are showing that they want to do their best to help the community solve one of its biggest problems.”
An estimated 37.5% of adults in the north of the city smoke – the highest level anywhere in Scotland. Poverty and other social problems have a direct connection with smoking rates, with more than three times as many smokers in Provanmill as in Kelvindale (an estimated 16% in the more affluent area compared to 50% elsewhere). Women in more deprived areas are more likely to smoke during pregnancy, and smoking is the greatest single factor in the different life expectancy between social classes. According to the Family Expenditure Survey, poorer households spend an average 15% of their weekly income on tobacco products compared to 1.5% in households with an average income.
Ian Jamieson is the Keep Well Employment Advisor for the Glasgow North Regeneration Agency. He explains how curbing smoking rates could help the area's overall economy: "You're more likely to get a job and keep a job if you're in good health, so from a regeneration point of view there are very sound reasons for doing all we can to promote No Smoking Day 2008. Evidence shows you're also more likely to quit smoking successfully if you have support and that's something we're geared up to provide.
“All of us who are serious about making the north of the city a better place to live have the duty to do what we can to help our friends and neighbours. For me, that’s what this has been all about. We will certainly be doing all we can to provide information and extra help for our clients on No Smoking Day next month.”
Helping these community groups plan their NSD events will provide information for anyone considering kicking the habit and ultimately to make it easier for them to quit.
"Strathclyde Police is also a major employer and by providing help and information to our staff we can hopefully help more of them to kick the habit."
Wendy Conway is Strathclyde Police's Community Planning Officer for Maryhill, Kelvin and Canal. She said: "Strathclyde Police actively promotes safer, healthier communities wherever we can and trying to cut preventable death by smoking is a shared goal for all of us here. The CHCP have shown us that by getting involved with plans for No Smoking Day in March we can actually make a difference to the health of this community. We've seen that we can do our bit simply by offering information and support.
"We've managed to get some useful ideas together, so that we can make a big impact on No Smoking Day next month. I've noticed there are lots of different groups here today and I think employers, charities and community groups working together on a common goal is an inspired idea. By involving more people I'm sure we will eventually make a difference to the levels of smoking here in the north of the city."
Shelagh Robertson from Revive MS Support said: "We provide support for people with MS right here in the heart of Maryhill and tackling smoking is a big priority for us. There's lots of help available to assist the general population in quitting smoking but for various reasons, sometimes people with MS can find it harder to take advantage of that. That's why it's so important that we work together with the experts from the CHCP and also why it's been great to get their advice.
For help on how to give up smoking contact North Glasgow CHCP on 0141 232 9113, or NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde’s Smokefree Services on 0800 389 3210.
For more information contact 0141 201 4429.
Note to Editors:
The North Glasgow Community Health and Care Partnership (CHCP) is a partnership between Glasgow City Council and NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde to deliver social and health care in community settings.