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Durham County Council

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Tobacco and smoking


Smoking remains the single biggest preventable cause of premature death in the UK today. Around half of all long-term smokers will prematurely die as a result - about 15 people a day in the North East alone.

Tobacco is a leading cause of health inequalities and is responsible for half the difference in life expectancy between rich and poor.

If you're a smoker and want help

Smokefree life County Durham

Quitting smoking can be difficult, so why not make it easier, with Smokefree life County Durham? They will help you find your routes to quit.

Get in touch on 0800 772 0565, text QUIT to 66777 or email info@smokefreelifecountydurham.co.uk and a friendly, experienced team of stop smoking advisers and specialists will give you advice, support and encouragement to stop smoking for good. The team, some of whom are ex-smokers themselves, has helped 50,000 people to stop smoking over the last 12 years. With expert help you are four times more likely to succeed than those who try to quit without support.

Everyone is different so there are different support options available including:

  • motivational tips on how to stay on track
  • the chance to use a carbon monoxide monitor, to see your recovery in action
  • a choice of support to fit your lifestyle
  • prescription stop smoking medicines to help beat cravings, from nicotine patches and gum, to nasal sprays, inhalators and tablets

You can choose to come to drop-in, group or one to one sessions. Sessions are already established in your local community and are held in GP practices, leisure centres, libraries, community centres, work places, hospitals, pharmacies and children's centres. Contact Smokefree life County Durham on their freephone number to find out where your local sessions are held.

What is tobacco control and what we are doing about it?

Tobacco control aims to tackle the death, disability and disease caused by smoking. The aim of tobacco control is to make smoking less desirable, accessible and affordable.

Locally this means improving health and reducing health inequalities by reducing the number of smokers (preventing the uptake of smoking and assisting those who want to quit). Delivering evidence based tobacco control requires long term strategic commitment to ensure the mechanisms are in place to drive the agenda forward. This relies on the commitment of a range of partners understanding and supporting the evidence and coming together in the form of the Smokefree County Durham Tobacco Control Alliance.

The main aims of tobacco control activities include:

  • reducing exposure to second-hand smoke
  • the use of proven treatments of tobacco addiction
  • promoting effective health campaigns
  • banning tobacco marketing and promotion
  • increasing tobacco taxation
  • tackle illicit trade in tobacco products

Smokefree County Durham Tobacco Control Alliance

The Smokefree County Durham Tobacco Control Alliance is a multi agency partnership with the aim of reducing smoking prevalence in County Durham in line with national targets. The alliance oversees the development, implementation and monitoring of the local Tobacco Control Action Plan. The actions incorporated into the plan relate to the evidence-based eight strands of tobacco control to reduce smoking among the population:

  • developing infrastructure, skills and capacity at local level and influencing national action
  • reducing exposure to second-hand smoke
  • supporting smokers to stop
  • media, communications and social marketing
  • reducing the availability and supply of tobacco products
  • tobacco regulation
  • reducing tobacco promotion
  • research, monitoring and evaluation

Illegal tobacco

Illegal tobacco is tobacco that has been smuggled into the UK, 'bootlegged' (duty free) or counterfeit (fake). Despite being seen as a victimless crime by some, the trade in illegal tobacco is something that we should all be concerned about.