What should I know?
Smoking is the biggest single preventable cause of disease and premature death in Scotland. Smoking kills half of all long term smokers before their time. It is estimated that more than 13,000 people die from smoking related illnesses every year.
Although significant progress has been made:
- 25% of adults in Scotland still smoke. The negative impact of smoking is considerable and particularly felt in areas of social deprivation where smoking prevalence is higher than 40%
- Secondhand smoke poses a risk of harm to the health of children in particular.
- Smoking also imposes large costs both to individuals and the economy.
What should I do?
Workplaces can help raise awareness of issues around tobacco use. Highlighting the benefits and positive aspects of stopping smoking can result in a greater "buy in" from potential quitters.
Make information on local stop smoking services widely available at work i.e. local smoking cessation support groups and pharmacy services. Highlight national campaigns and websites such as No Smoking Day, ASH Scotland, Gasp and the national stop smoking helpline.
If there is sufficient demand, free in-house smoking cessation support groups can be arranged by Health at Work. Engage in Health at Work's prize incentive smoking cessation competition Quit & Win which starts annually on No Smoking Day. No Smoking Day is a great way to promote the benefits of being smoke free. Health at Work can provide some resources for your in-house information stall.
Through new legislation set out in March 2006 workplaces will all have no smoking policies in place. Review your existing policies to include support for employees who wish to quit. Include some information and education on the support services available and support for managers in the implementation of the policy. This should be carried out in consultation with all employees.
Where can I get help?
NHS - www.nhsggc.org.uk/smokefree
NHS - www.canstopsmoking.com
NHS helpline - 0800 84 84 84