Business leaders support Yorkshire Smokefree’s message

Barnsley & Rotherham Chamber of Commerce is backing Yorkshire Smokefree’s new campaign targeting workplaces.

Yorkshire Smokefree, part of South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, runs stop-smoking support across the borough on behalf of PSS under the Be Well Barnsley programme. Be Well Barnsley is commissioned by Barnsley Council.

Yorkshire Smokefree is promoting the message that “stopping smoking is everyone’s business” as part of a year-long campaign which is targeting routine and manual workers, who are the biggest group of smokers across region.

Barnsley & Rotherham Chamber has pledged its support for the campaign which is asking companies to open their doors to the service’s advisors so that they can help smokers quit. Businesses are also being asked to let staff to attend smoking cessation services during working hours without loss of pay.

Andrew Denniff, Chief Executive of Barnsley & Rotherham Chamber of Commerce, said: “Smoking is bad for business. The costs to employers are lost productivity through cigarette breaks and increased absence due to ill health. We’re urging businesses on our patch to work with Yorkshire Smokefree and also develop a workplace smoking policy.”

Nationally smokers are 33% more likely to miss work than non-smokers and smokers are absent for an average 2.7 extra days per year than non-smokers. 70% of smokers say they would like to stop. Employers who provide cessation support could also improve compliance with regulations around no smoking in workplaces or vehicles.

Sean Rayner, South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS FT’s District Director, said: “We’re saying that stopping smoking is everyone’s business because we need help and support from our partners in the private sector to improve public health in Barnsley.”

Yorkshire Smokefree is making progress on getting local people to quit. According to Public Health England’s annual population survey, the number of adults smoking in Barnsley dropped by 13% between 2012 and 2015.

Sean Rayner commented: “Despite big improvements there’s still much more to do. This new campaign is all about us working in new ways and developing new links with local businesses in order to reach routine and manual workers.”

Claire Grey from Be Well Barnsley, said “We’re working in partnership with South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust to tackle the issue of smoking in innovative ways. Smoking cessation services is a key part of our work to improve public health across the borough. We are also encouraging local people to eat healthier diets, lose weight, be more active, reduce stress and drink more sensibly.”

There are lots of ways to give up smoking and there is help to find a way tailored to each individual’s specific needs. Some clients may get free nicotine replacement therapy or Champix depending on eligibility. For more information people should call Yorkshire Smokefree for advice and tips on quitting smoking: 0800 612 0011 (free from landlines) or 0330 660 1166 (free from mobiles) or visit the website

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