University ignites push to help smokers quit
Millions of smokers will receive an extra push to stub out their cigarettes, thanks to a new initiative launched on this year’s No Smoking Day (Wednesday 8 March, 2006)
A team at Sheffield Hallam University has joined up with local primary care trusts to produce a unique toolkit, which aims to give health workers such as pharmacists, nurses and GPs’ receptionists across the UK the knowledge to help smokers break the deadly cycle.
Just weeks after MPs voted to ban smoking in public places, the distance learning resource pack includes statistics on smoking and reasons that people light up, as well as how staff can spot warning signs and point smokers in the direction of help to kick the habit.
It means that health care professionals can study at their own pace, rather than taking time out from work to attend training courses, to assist GPs in offering advice.
Elaine Brookes from the University’s Physical Activity and Wellbeing Development (PAWD) team, which led the project said:
“People are increasingly aware of the dangers of smoking and we want to make more health workers aware of how they can help smokers quit. There are lots of stop smoking services out there, but many members of the public don’t know the help exists. This resource will help staff identify those who need support and signpost them in the right direction.”
Academics from a wide range of disciplines in the University’s Faculty of Health and Wellbeing produced the toolkit in conjunction with Doncaster, Rotherham and Barnsley primary care trusts.
There are an estimated 13 million adult smokers in the UK. 120,000 smokers die each year from their habit and smoking is the largest preventable cause of death and disease, being linked to around fifty diseases including coronary heart disease, stroke, cancer and affected fertility, according to the No Smoking Day charity.
No Smoking Day is a registered UK charity, which aims to raise awareness and increase motivation by encouraging smokers to quit on a specific day. For more information about stopping smoking, visit www.nosmokingday.org.uk
On February 14, MPs voted to ban smoking in all enclosed public spaces, including all pubs and private members’ clubs.
The University’s Faculty of Health and Wellbeing holds an exhibition on Wednesday 8 March, to highlight the dangers of smoking to staff and students.
The PAWD team at Sheffield Hallam University is involved in research, consultancy work and bespoke client services relating to all aspects of health, social care and wellbeing.
Lorna Branton | alfa