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Britain’s Councils to Prevent Citizens from Smoking

February 4th, 2013 by Isabela Mayer

Britain Councils Dealing with smoking among teenagers, youngsters and adults is one of the most complicated responsibilities local government bodies deal with as they get ready to proceed with their public health obligations in April 2013. That’s the perspective of the Local Government Association, which not long ago organized an event in London in order to focus on the problem.

Why does a personal life-style decision as for instance a crucial challenge for local government? First of all there is a human cost as outlined by anti-smoking charity. After that there is economical cost to community of cigarette use.

The main question is whether councils have the strength to prevent their local citizens from smoking. The tactic implemented by tobacco control group Smoke Free Middlesbrough -has been extremely productive. Smoke Free Middlesbrough has established a quality standard for local schools which acknowledges those that offer the best tobacco education to teenagers and youngsters and can even show its effects. It also leads the ‘take seven steps out’ campaign, which is designed to motivate families to make their houses smoke free. Brenda Thompson, executive representative for public health and chair of Smoke Free Middlesbrough, claims that training people about the hazards of smoking is a crucial aspect of the project.

The project has been a quick success. Figures demonstrate that the region covered by Middlesbrough Primary Care Trust had a high number of smokers who stop this habit in 2010-11. According to estimates only in Middlesbrough, 1,248 per 100,000 smokers aged over 16 stopped smoking in comparison to an average of 1,225 for the north-east, and of 911 for the whole of England. Dealing with the problem of illegal smoking products is also important on the agenda of Smoke Free Middlesbrough. “Illicit tobacco sales represent an organized crime, who distributes these cigarettes to teenagers,” states Thompson, who underlines that illicit cigarettes are more dangerous to health than those sold legitimately.

At the same time, authorities declare that it is the pioneer local authority in England and Wales to approve an action supporting standardized packaging as members back the view that teenagers and youngsters are “more likely to be drawn by vivid tobacco packages than they would if cigarettes were sold in plain packaging”

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