The 1st July 2017 marks the tenth anniversary of the most important public health reform in generations – the ending of smoking in enclosed public places in England.
This would be a great opportunity to focus on helping your patients to quit smoking.
The evidence is they are likely to be receptive to the topic being raised. The smokefree law, and the campaign that supported it, helped to change attitudes and behaviour on smoking:
- An extra 300,000 smokers were inspired to make a quit attempt as the law came into force
- According to Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) surveys the public welcomes government action to reduce tobacco dependency
- In the three years following the law’s introduction, there were almost 7,000 fewer hospital admissions for childhood asthma
PCRS-UK is campaigning to encourage healthcare professionals to see tobacco dependency as a long term relapsing condition that starts in childhood.
We believe that treating tobacco dependency is the business of every healthcare professional. This is because treating tobacco dependency is the single most cost-effective intervention for the prevention of smoking-related disease and for smokers who have smoking-related diseases.
PCRS-UK Chair Noel Baxter says: ‘Tightening of local authority funds and the inevitable removal of health related spend has impacted on stop smoking services. This shouldn’t be a reason for primary care to stop doing smoking cessation. GPs as members of commissioning groups need to consider how we can bring together health and local authority commissioning and providers to ensure that not only are the public health duties and proven interventions carried out but that we look again at health spending for tobacco related disease. We need to ask whether a shift of resources to treating tobacco dependency is going to provide the value that we are all looking for in a system that is under pressure.’
What you can do:
- Use this anniversary to offer Very Brief Advice to your patients. This involves:
- ASK: establish smoking status
- ADVISE: advise on the benefits of cessation and/or making the offer of help to quit
- ACT: act on the patient’s response and make a referral/provide support
- Read about our tobacco dependency campaign HERE
- Download this poster which explains how practice staff can help patients to quit:
- Read this article explaining why a carbon monoxide test is an essential part of every GP and practice nurse's kit