Countdown is on to smokefree status

The directors of public health in Northumberland and North Tyneside and consultants support Northumbria Healthcare's smokefree plans.
The directors of public health in Northumberland and North Tyneside and consultants support Northumbria Healthcare's smokefree plans.

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust is marching towards becoming smokefree in the spring.

As part of its commitment to improving the health and wellbeing of its staff, patients and visitors, smoking will not be permitted in any of the trust’s hospitals, community sites or grounds from March 31.

The step will help protect people from the harmful effects of second-hand smoke and by providing support to help smokers quit, play a part in reducing the number of people who smoke and the serious illnesses associated with smoking.

Despite declines in smoking prevalence over recent decades, 17.2 per cent of adults in the North East still smoke.

Judith Stonebridge, public health consultant at Northumbria Healthcare, said: “With less than six months to go, it’s important that all our patients, visitors and staff are aware of our plans and the support that is available to smokers to help them to quit.

“We have, as one of this area’s largest employers and the country’s leading trusts, an important regional role to help reduce the number of smokers and, in turn, the serious illnesses related to smoking.

“Going smokefree will mean a much more pleasant, and above all, safer environment for everyone who uses, or works in, our services and bring about improvements in health.”

County residents can call the Northumberland NHS Stop Smoking Service on 01670 813135 or visit www.northumbria.nhs.uk/stopsmoking for information on stopping smoking.