Agenda item

Tackling Smoking in West Sussex Together during the Pandemic

This report is a call to action for Health and Wellbeing Board members inviting them to get behind the efforts and actions of the Smoke Free West Sussex Partnership (SFWSP).


The Health and Wellbeing Board is asked to;


(1)endorse the actions of the Smoke Free West Sussex Partnership which tackle smoking and to recognise the increased priority this needs during pandemic;

(2)consider actions each member will take forward in their respective roles and organisations (these could be those proposed here or alternatives); and

(3)comment and agree on the proposed priority actions for the rest of 2020/21.



5.1  The Chairman introduced Kate Bailey, Public Health Consultant, who  presented this report which called Health and Wellbeing Board members to action, inviting them to support the efforts and actions of the Smoke Free West Sussex Partnership (SFWSP).


5.2  Recent achievements within the Tobacco Control Strategy (which was endorsed by the Health and Wellbeing Board at their January 2019 meeting) were outlined. Examples included, ensuring manual workers were engaged with smoking cessation services, the largest ever seizure of illicit tobacco in the county and implementing a pilot service in maternity in Western Sussex Hospitals Foundation Trust. 


5.3   It was noted that smoking is a risk factor for greater impact from Covid19 on both health and income. Smoke Free activity had responded to the requirements and impacts of the pandemic are also described e.g. changing from face to face to phone-based support and focusing on vulnerable groups. Recent discussions across the integrated care partnership in West Sussex concluded that working together to reduce smoking prevalence could be a jointly shared priority.


5.4   Board Members were referred to the Smoke Free West Sussex Action Plan which was an interactive tool that assisted organisations to monitor progress against priority actions such as implementing Smoke Free arrangements in local hospitals; in line with commitments in the NHS Long Term Plan. Also, increased communications to generate referrals and self-referrals to smoking cessation services; such as GPs identifying smokers on their lists and contacting them proactively.


5.5   Board Members were asked to commit to a Smoke Free West Sussex both individually, as an organisation and as part of the community.


       Proposed actions were as follows;


·       Individual - quit and share your story, Complete Making Every Contact Count e-learning and regularly share information about services

·       Actions for employers - review support to employees who smoke, smoke free buildings and use of organisational communications to raise awareness

·       Action for Organisations - health in all policies applied to smoking, functions which influence access to tobacco e.g. planning and licensing and tendering & contracts address smoking e.g. staff


5.6   In discussing the report/presentation Board Members;


·       agreed to continue to work together to make a difference by March 2021;

·       recognised the increased emphasis on the importance of Smoke Free West Sussex due to the pandemic;

·       welcomed the engagement with County Councillors to see if they would consider leading a stop smoking campaign;

·       supported visible Smoke Free promotion within and from partner organisations;

·       committed to making progress in ACUTE medical care in Sussex by use of techniques such as nicotine replacement and maternity carbon monoxide testing as well as pushing forward on the idea of smoke free hospitals whilst supporting staff to quit;

·       acknowledged that Primary Care had adopted the Make Every Contact Count with a local system approach. Further conversations were taking place on how Smoke Free could be proactively promoted to patients.  

·       noted that the Clinical Commissioning Group were in full support with Smoke Free action already underway at Primary Care Level. A commitment from Hospital Trusts was seen as being of benefit so that the messages could be embedded and shared with the broader community.

·       Suggested a Social Media Campaign in view of the success of Stoptober Social Media which had been impactful. Healthwatch urged that the media be briefed to keep coverage positive, avoiding a patronising tone. 


5.7   In turning to the report’s recommendations, the Chairman noted   that the Board could agree to explore all methods of social media in such a way that the messages can be more widely heard.


5.8   Resolved – the Health and Wellbeing Board approved that;


(1)        the actions of the Smoke Free West Sussex Partnership which tackle smoking and to recognise the increased priority this needs during pandemic, be endorsed;


(2)        that each Board Member will tackle smoking, in their respective roles and organisations; and


(3)        the proposed priority actions for the rest of 2020/21 be agreed.


Supporting documents: