Stop smoking appeal to Dearne organisations

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Organisations in the Dearne are being urged to sign up to the new Rotherham Smokefree Charter launched this week to coincide with national Stoptober month.

Members of Rotherham Council’s health and wellbeing board signed the charter, which aims to get local businesses, voluntary and community organisations, schools and colleges to demonstrate their commitment to reducing the harm from tobacco.

By signing up, organisations are asked to adopt six principles:

* A workplace smokefree policy

* Provide information to staff and customers/patients/service users about the benefits of quitting smoking and the support available

* Provide information to staff and customers/patients/service users on how to reduce their exposure to secondhand smoke

* Have a named Smokefree Champion

* To ban the sale of tobacco products on premises

* Where home visits are offered, staff will request customers/patients/service users to provide a room which has been smokefree for a minimum of 30 minutes, as far as is practicable, prior to a planned visit by staff.

Councillor John Doyle, acting chair of the health and wellbeing board, said: “There is significant evidence demonstrating the negative health impacts of tobacco and exposure. Smoking is the biggest cause of premature deaths in England and each year it accounts for over 80,000 deaths, with one in two long-term smokers dying prematurely from a smoking disease.

“This includes second-hand smoke from the use of tobacco indoors and exposure to drifting smoke outdoors. No level of tobacco exposure is safe.

“Where organisations sign the Charter their staff will have more confidence to raise concerns about smoking and that any concerns will be addressed.”

Almost a quarter of Rotherham residents smoke - around 46,000 adults.

Last year, almost 2,000 people quit with NHS support.

The Charter has been launched during Stoptober month - the 28-day stop smoking challenge. Back for the second year running, Stoptober encourages the nation’s eight million smokers to stop smoking for 28 days.

If you are a business, voluntary or community organisation, school or college and would like more information on the charter contact Alison Iliff on 01709 255848.