More council smokefree sites this autumn
It was always our plan to extend this to the majority of our sites as we want to spread this positive health message as widely and as consistently as possible.Wiltshire Council Portfolio Holder for Public Health, Ben Anderson
More of our sites will be going smokefree this autumn following a successful roll-out at our three main hubs just over five months ago.
From 13 March the public and our staff were not be able to smoke on the grounds or associated car parks of Bourne Hill in Salisbury, County Hall in Trowbridge and Monkton Park in Chippenham.
Now we are planning to introduce this at others sites they are responsible for, including libraries, leisure centres, depots and other council owned sites. Vaping will be permitted on-site as this is evidenced by Public Health England to be 95% less harmful than smoking.
Each site affected will have clear signage to notify people of the new arrangements, which will be introduced on 1 October to coincide with the annual Stoptober stop smoking campaign.
We provide support to help people quit smoking should they want to, including a dedicated health trainer team. Please visit our Health Trainer page to find out more.
Adult smoking prevalence in Wiltshire has continued to decline and the latest Public Health Outcomes Framework data shows that it is now at 12.3%. This is nearly a 5% decrease since 2013 when it was 17.2% and is lower than the current national average of 14.4%. This gives an indication that more smokers in Wiltshire are quitting than those starting to smoke with nearly 88% of Wiltshire residents now being non-smokers. This is a significant step forward in achieving the national ambition of a smoking prevalence of 12% by the end of 2022.
However, smoking remains the primary cause of preventable illness and premature deaths in the UK and is significantly associated with diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), various forms of cancer, coronary heart disease and stroke. Exposure to second-hand smoke is also known to increase the risk of these conditions and contributes to serious illnesses among children, such as asthma. Smoking is the biggest single cause of inequalities in death rates between the rich and poor and it contributes to more than 600 premature deaths in Wiltshire per year.
Useful information and support can also be found on our smoking support pages.
We recently launched our Bin the Butt campaign with smokers throughout Wiltshire being encouraged to safely extinguish their cigarettes and not drop litter.
Wiltshire Council Portfolio Holder for Public Health, Ben Anderson, said: "Although it's been a period of transition for our staff and those who use our premises, we are pleased with the response to our hub sites going smokefree.
"It was always our plan to extend this to the majority of our sites as we want to spread this positive health message as widely and as consistently as possible.
"We know quitting smoking for good is incredibly challenging, but we have expert support available for anyone who wants to take that step so I'd urge them to get in touch."