Local Advisor Appointed In Time For National No Smoking Day

It’s National No Smoking Day today and last week, Councillors heard what measures are being taken to help smokers on our Islands kick the habit.

Linda Quee, the Head of the NHS’s Stop Smoking Service for Cornwall and Scilly, says help is on offer to those looking to quit, although she admitted there’s been a lack of people on the ground here for the past year.

The service, which was set up in 1999, used to have two advisors but this dropped to one before that person took a break 18 months ago.

Linda said they’ve used a ‘virtual advisor’, who provides advice by phone, text or email, to fill the gap, but is pleased that Louise Baker has now returned to the role.

Louise is helping both the general population and pregnant women to give up cigarettes.

Councillors were told that the islands don’t have more or less of a problem than the mainland, and rates have been decreasing significantly since the smoking ban in 2007.

That surprised Director of Adult, Community & Children’s Services, Penny Penn-Howard.

She said it felt like there were a lot of people here who smoke, particularly young men, with a pub culture that revolves around drinking and smoking.

The service are planning to approach the Five Islands School to launch their ‘STOPS’ programme, which trains a group of kids to provide information to others to encourage them not to start smoking in the first place.

Linda also says they want to improve access to medication.

The Council’s Strategic Development Officer, Aisling Hick, said smoking cessation was high on her list of priorities and she cited a story run on Radio Scilly, highlighting a gap in service provision around the New Year period.

There hasn’t been any publicity arranged by the service for today’s National No Smoking Day but Emma Corlett of the Primary Care Trust says all UK surgeries should have a static stand display up today, including ours.