Dudley Council says no to smoking

Dudley News: l-r Val Little, director of public health, cllr David Sparks and John Polychronakis, chief executive the council, stamp out smoking l-r Val Little, director of public health, cllr David Sparks and John Polychronakis, chief executive the council, stamp out smoking

DUDLEY Council is the first local authority in the Black Country to commit to a smoke-free future.

The council has signed up to the Local Government Declaration on Tobacco Control to try and encourage the borough's 45,000 smokers to stub out the habit.

By signing the declaration, the council has committed itself to working with the community to reduce the number of people smoking.

Nearly 500 people die each year in the Dudley borough from smoking-related diseases, a figure that council leader, councillor David Sparks, described as "shocking".

He said: “The effects of smoking in the borough are shocking. While local people continue to smoke we are losing lives, ruining children’s health, losing money from the local economy and ruining the environment. We are taking firm action to stamp out the smoking habit.”

One person who is backing the initiative is former smoker Fiona Hand, aged 34, from Wall Heath.

The mum of three quit smoking a year ago with help from the Dudley Smoking in Pregnancy Service.

She said: “Damaging yourself is one thing, but harming your baby is another. I found it very difficult to quit when I was pregnant, but the support I received helped me to focus and remain motivated to stay stopped.

"I have been smoke free for over a year now and feel great.”

Anyone who wants help and advice to stop smoking should contact the Dudley Stop Smoking Service on 0800 0850 652, text CAN to 80800, or visit www.dudleystopsmoking.co.uk or facebook.com/DudleyStopSmoking

For more details on the declaration, go to www.smokefreeaction.org.uk/declaration/

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