Councillors’ Briefings

Click on the links below to download (pdf) short briefings for councillors on key issues in tobacco policy, produced by Action on Smoking and Health. Each briefing sets out the problem and points towards action councils can take to put things right.

Making the case for local tobacco control.
This short briefing provides local councillors with the information they need about why tobacco remains top of the agenda for public health.

Implementation of the Tobacco Control Plan.
In July 2017 the Government published Towards a Smokefree Generation: A Tobacco Control Plan for England with new targets for reducing smoking prevalence by 2022. This briefing sets out the key ambitions of the Plan and the actions that local authorities can take to achieve these ambitions locally.

Electronic cigarettes briefing.
FAQ about electronic cigarettes for local authorities and Councillors.

The harm caused by smoking starts during pregnancy and persists throughout childhood. In England every year smoking during pregnancy causes 5,000 miscarriages and 300 perinatal deaths. Living in smoky homes causes asthma and other respiratory diseases in children.

Protecting health policy.
The tobacco industry has a long history of working to subvert or delay health policy and local government needs to be vigilant regarding tobacco industry influence locally.

Smoking related litter.
Cigarette butts are the single most littered item in England. This briefing provides information on the impact of smoking litter on local communities as well as on tackling the problem.

Supporting quit attempts.
Smoking is extremely addictive and people need support when attempting to quit. Local authorities can make a difference by commissioning stop smoking services that are run in line with best practice evidence.

The true cost.
This briefing sets out the enormous economic cost of tobacco use both to the individual and society.

Regional tobacco control.
There is a strong evidence base to demonstrate the effectiveness of regional tobacco control delivery in reducing smoking rates. Localities can achieve greater impact and return on investment by working across larger footprints and having an overarching collaborative programme in place to enhance local delivery.

Illicit tobacco.
Cheap illicit tobacco fuels teen smoking, worsens health inequalities, harms local businesses and is linked to crime at many levels. Working together councils can tackle this illegal trade and reduce inequalities.

Reducing the harm.
The best thing smokers can do to protect their health is to quit now, completely and forever. However, not all smokers are ready to take that step and it is important to offer smokers for whom quitting in one step has not been a success an alternative approach.

Smoking related fires.
Cigarettes and smoking materials are the most common cause of accidental house fires resulting in fatalities. Local authorities can make a difference by providing harm reduction advice and communicating tobacco control messages.

Health inequalities.
Smoking is the biggest cause of health inequalities in the UK accounting for half the difference in life expectancy between richest and poorest. Not smoking can allow people to leap the health gap, with the poorest non smokers typically having a substantially longer life than the richest smokers.

Local Stop Smoking Services.
This briefing sets out the case for Local Stop Smoking Services.

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