Lack of professional healthcare support could be deterring Stockton’s 23,526 smokers from quitting.
That was the finding from the Lung Health Taskforce, which was launched by Stockton North MP Alex Cunningham in Parliament on Monday.
The Taskforce unveiled its Five Year Plan to tackle lung disease at a Parliamentary reception, which included calls for funding to provide effective high quality smoking cessation services and for all healthcare professionals to be given basic training to offer advice to would-be quitters. The report noted that 60% of smokers wanted to quit but many required advice and professional help to get them started.
The Stockton-on-Tees Borough is listed 229 out of 317 local authorities for smoking prevalence.
Alex – who successfully campaigned to ban smoking in cars with a child present – said:
Lung disease is one of the top three killers in the UK, being responsible for 115,000 deaths per year. We need to be tougher, and act more decisively if we are to combat this disease.
The Taskforce is doing hugely important work and I’m proud to have been involved in this event. With experts leading the way, and Parliamentarians using this evidence to create policy It is only through such partnerships and listening to experts that we will make the inroads that we need to.
Willpower will only help people so far and we should not only be encouraging people to quit smoking, but actively supporting them in their journey. That’s why I’d urge the Government to adopt this Five Year Plan and provide local authorities with the resources they need to make places like Stockton smoke-free.
The report can be found here: https://www.blf.org.uk/taskforce/plan/one-year-on.
Taskforce data on smoking can be found here: https://www.blf.org.uk/taskforce/data-tracker/smoking/smoking-and-stop-smoking-services.