Stamping out smoking this New Year with Smokefree Sheffield
Smokefree Sheffield, a collaborative initiative that aims to stamp out smoking in the city, is kicking off the New Year with a series of campaigns tackling a broad range of smoking-related issues.
Continuing the great work of Smokefree Sheffield and its partners in 2018, the second year of this three-year campaign will start by tackling smoking in pregnancy, smoking-related illnesses, smokefree homes and the dangers of shisha smoking.
Councillor Mary Lea, Cabinet Member for Culture, Parks and Leisure at Sheffield, said:
“It’s fundamental to keep building on the success of year one, and we are making an ambitious start to the second year of the Smokefree Sheffield initiative with a range of campaigns addressing key areas for smoking cessation.”
“January is a critical time for smokers considering quitting, and we hope to encourage more New Year quits through our range of partners delivering stop smoking services.”
Following their move to become a smokefree site in 2018, visitors to Jessop Wing this January will be greeted by a series of floor vinyls highlighting the risk factors of continuing to smoke throughout pregnancy, exposure to secondhand smoke from others and the benefits of quitting for mum, baby and the whole family.
This is the latest initiative of the smoking in pregnancy campaign, which aims to reduce the number of women smoking while pregnant and has been developed in collaboration with the Jessop Wing midwives.
An accompanying leaflet aims to encourage New Year quits with the inclusion of a 30-day quit calendar. Outlining the many health benefits that occur during the first 30 days of quitting smoking, the calendar serves as motivation for expectant parents or family members to stick to their quit plan.
Alongside this campaign, Smokefree Sheffield are aiming to highlight the serious health risks of secondhand smoke around babies and children, encouraging parents to create a smokefree home for themselves and their family.
The initiative, promoted via a range of settings including maternity units, family centres, nurseries and local primary schools through a competition, will not only provide helpful tips for keeping a smokefree home, but will also encourage children to draw their vision of a smokefree home in an attempt to motivate parents to quit and remain smokefree for their families.
“We know that children are more likely to become a smoker themselves if they grow up in a household with parents who smoke, so it’s vital that we encourage smokefree homes if we are to achieve our aim of inspiring a smokefree generation in Sheffield.” said Greg Fell, Director of Public Health at Sheffield City Council.
“Five children start smoking every day in Sheffield, and if we want to change the social norms around smoking for children and young people, we need to encourage positive changes from families and friends in the first instance. We want to help them understand the impact that smoking and secondhand smoke has on children and encourage them to quit using the range of stop smoking services they have access to, as well as support and advice on how to make the home smokefree”
Building further on the success of one of last year’s campaigns that raised awareness of the life changing effects of smoking, Smokefree Sheffield is adding three more Sheffielders to the faces of the campaign. Geoff, 61 from S5, Julie, 53 from S2, and Gill, 55 from S12 have each had their lives severely impacted by smoking-related illnesses, specifically Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), stroke and heart attacks.
The campaign will aim to show how smoking can have a devastating effect, not only your life, but on your livelihood too.
By sharing their experiences they hope to convince others in their community to quit with support of the services available in Sheffield.
Geoff, who was diagnosed with COPD four years ago, says: “I wish I’d stopped when I was first diagnosed as it stopped me from doing the things I love like touring with my band. Geoff says, “I feel so much better in myself after quitting smoking, while my COPD won’t get better, it won’t get worse either which is the most important thing to me”. Since quitting, Geoff now has the energy back to take up his beloved drumming, meaning the band is back together and touring again.
Gillian, who suffered a heart attack and stroke, says: “My illness set me back 20 years, I lost my job because of its impact on my speech as well as the ability to do simple things like picking up a phone”. Having always prided herself on being the fittest member of her family, Gillian is finally starting to get her strength back up now that she’s stopped smoking and, despite her on-going health problems, she is determined to get on her bike again one day.
Geoff quit 8 months ago with the help of Yorkshire Smokefree Sheffield and Gill is currently on a Champix course through the service. They urge others in their situation to do the same.
To round up the new campaigns, Smokefree Sheffield’s ‘Think it’s safe’ shisha campaign, which aims to educate young people on the risks of smoking shisha tobacco (also known as hookah), will also run for a second year.
Greg Fell said,
“These campaigns mark just the start of a year long programme of initiatives, all of which will take us one step further towards achieving our goal of a Smokefree Sheffield by 2025”.
Smokefree Sheffield brings the city’s Tobacco Control Board partners and local services together under one umbrella and has been set up to help smokers, non-smokers, quitters and the whole community work towards a future without tobacco.