Birmingham signs Declaration on Tobacco Control

By on 10/12/2013 in Cllr Bedser, News
Cllr Steve Bedser

Cllr Steve Bedser

Birmingham City Council has stepped up the fight against smoking by becoming the largest local authority to sign the Local Government Declaration on Tobacco Control.

The Declaration, which has been endorsed by leading figures including the Public Health Minister and the Chief Medical Officer, underlines the city council's commitment to protecting local communities from the harm caused by smoking.

The national launch of the declaration will take place at the House of Commons on Wednesday 11 December.

Every year almost 5,000 people die in Birmingham from a smoking related disease and the declaration highlights the ongoing commitment to:

  • reducing smoking prevalence and health inequalities
  • developing plans with partners and local communities
  • participating in local and regional networks
  • supporting Government action at national level
  • protecting tobacco control work from the commercial and vested interests of the tobacco industry
  • joining the Smokefree Action Coalition

Director of Public Health, Dr Adrian Phillips, said: “Smoking causes untold misery in Birmingham and there are over 4,500 deaths from smoking related disease every single year.

“We are determined to reduce that horrifying statistic and this declaration outlines the ongoing commitment to helping existing smokers quit and preventing young people from becoming smokers in the first place.”

Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, Cllr Steve Bedser, added: “Around one on three of our 16-24 year olds are smokers and every single day, nine young people from Birmingham take up smoking.

“For many that will mean a lifetime of ill health followed by premature death and that is not the gloomy future I want for our young people.”

Smoking in Birmingham

Smoking causes significant economic burden both in terms of increased health expenditure and cost to the Birmingham economy in the form of absenteeism, working days lost and premature retirement.

Premature deaths from smoking are estimated to cost the Birmingham economy £24m each year.

In the UK the majority of smokers start before the age of 18 and in Birmingham, around a third of 16-24 year olds are actively smoking.

In Birmingham around 1 in 5 adults smoke, equating to around 185,000 smokers.

Every year over 4,500 people die in Birmingham from a smoking related disease.

Smoking is directly linked with Birmingham's three biggest killers, and is directly attributable to:

  • 1 in 4 of all cancers,
  • 1 in 5 deaths from cardiovascular disease (heart disease and stroke),
  • 1 in 3 of all deaths from respiratory disease

About half of all smokers die from smoking-related diseases. If you are a long-term smoker, on average, your life expectancy is about 10 years less than a non-smoker.

Stop smoking in Birmingham

Giving up smoking is not easy but with help and support from our stop smoking service, you are up to four times more likely to stop than with will power alone.

For friendly, expert advice and support on how to quit smoking, call the Birmingham stop smoking service on 0800 052 5855 free or text 'QUIT' to 80800.

For more information about Stop Smoking services in Birmingham, go to: http://www.bhamcommunity.nhs.uk/about-us/services-directory/adults-and-communities/citywide-services/stop-smoking/

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