Glasgow City Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP) has thrown its weight behind a national bid to make the country tobacco free by 2034.
Fiona Moss, the HSCP’s head of Health Improvement & Inequality signed the ASH Scotland charter for a Tobacco Free Generation and was joined at the signing in Castlemilk Park by children, families and staff from the Jeely Piece Club as well as key HSCP staff.
As part of the pledge, signage requesting that children’s play parks remain smokefree was installed with further signs to be in place at more play parks across the city over the year.
Despite the continuing drop in smoking rates across Glasgow, smoking remains the biggest single preventable cause of ill-health and premature death in Scotland.
Half of Glasgow smokers want to quit for good, while a third of deaths amongst those aged 35 to 69 across the city are caused by smoking.
More than 8% of Glasgow children under the age of 30 months are reported to be exposed to second-hand smoke. Babies and young children are more at risk of coughs, colds and chest infections if exposed to second-hand smoke in the home or car.
Tobacco use accounts for almost one in four of all deaths in Scotland, is responsible for around 33,500 hospital admissions annually and costs the NHS around £400 million every year to treat smoking-related illnesses.
Fiona Moss said: “Tobacco is still the most common preventable cause of death in Scotland with smoking to blame for around a quarter of all deaths.
“Signing this charter today is important as it shows our continued commitment to reducing smoking and our determination to ensure that all children across Glasgow will grow up free from the harmful effects of tobacco.
“Our tobacco strategy, and the actions already in place, actively demonstrate Glasgow HSCP’s support for the ASH Scotland Charter principles such as tobacco control programmes in schools, smokefree environments and play parks and Quit Your Way smoking cessation programmes.
“By signing the ASH Scotland charter we are committing the HSCP to further sustained action to reduce tobacco-related harm by encouraging people not to start, supporting them to stop or protecting them from tobacco smoke.
“The real benefit of the HSCP signing ASH Scotland’s charter today is that it gives us the perfect opportunity to re-emphasise our commitment to creating smokefree environments for future generations.
“Every child has a right to have the best start in life and growing up in a smokefree environment is an important part of that.
“We know quitting smoking isn’t easy, but we offer world class smoking cessation services in local community venues and in all pharmacies.
“Our Quit Your Way service delivers a range of tobacco control programmes in schools, supports the expansion of smokefree environments such as playgrounds and offers support to people who want to make their home smokefree.”
Sheila Duffy, chief executive of ASH Scotland, said: “ASH Scotland welcomes Glasgow Health and Social Care Partnership in joining us in our work towards a generation free from tobacco.”
“Scotland has a vision of making smoking unfashionable, with fewer than 5% of the population still smoking by 2034. It’s a compelling vision and one worth striving for. If we all work on this, the children who are just going into nursery school now can be the first generation to grow up free from the harm caused by tobacco.”
Smoking is linked to many illnesses and long-term conditions, substantially increasing the chances of developing lung conditions, heart disease, strokes and cancers.
Tobacco smoke contains approximately 4,000 chemicals many of which cause cancer. Carbon monoxide and tar are the most toxic chemicals smokers inhale. Others include: