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L'înformâtion et les sèrvices publyis pouor I'Île dé Jèrri

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New Tobacco Strategy launched

14 December 2016

The Tobacco Strategy for Jersey 2017 - 2022 has been launched, with the aim of creating a smoke-free generation of Islanders.

The actions for the five-year plan build on the success of the previous strategy and draw on local health data and the international evidence base for tobacco control and cessation.

The actions for the Tobacco Strategy actions fall under three main themes:

  • prevention: for example, reducing the attractiveness and availability of tobacco products to children and young people; development of a youth forum
  • protection: for example, the introduction of voluntary codes to develop smoke free public places  and reduce the affordability of tobacco
  • cessation: for example, developing the Help2Quit service to help people who want to give up.

Local data has shown that:

  • smoking is a minority activity in Jersey. The overall smoking rate is reducing but some children and young people are still taking up smoking
  • one in five adults in Jersey still smoke and we know that around 140 people in Jersey die every year from tobacco related disease. Many more face the risks of smoking-related illness
  • smoking rates are much higher among particular social groups, including those on the lowest incomes and that others have particular challenges in quitting: for example those with long term physical health conditions and those experiencing mental health problems
  • these groups suffer the highest burden of smoking-related illness and death. Tackling smoking is central to the States of Jersey’s commitment to reduce health inequalities

Head of Health Improvement, Martin Knight "Thanks to many years of concerted strategic efforts from the States of Jersey alongside an increasingly widespread awareness among our community of the harms to health, smoking is now very much a minority activity in Jersey. So, Islanders might ask why we need a new tobacco strategy.

Choosing not to smoke

"If we are to create a smoke free generation, we need to shift social attitudes so that choosing not to smoke becomes the normal thing to do no matter what your social circumstances are. This strategy sets out the direction and evidence based actions that will help us work towards a generation of children and young people who choose not to smoke.

"We know that the younger someone starts to smoke the more likely they are to be an adult smoker, the heavier they are likely to smoke in adulthood and the more likely they are to fall ill and die early as a result of smoking. As nearly all smokers start young, any meaningful reduction in smoking rates will only be achieved by preventing children and young people from taking up smoking.

“Some may believe that smoking is a lifestyle choice but our choices, our health and our health behaviour are shaped by the conditions in which we are born, grow, live and work. We want the choice not to smoke to be the normal and easier choice no matter who you are, what you do or where you live.

The Chief Minister, Senator Ian Gorst, said "We have a commitment across the States of Jersey to improve health and wellbeing and reduce preventable disease.

“We all need to understand that health is everyone’s business. Although much of the direct impact from tobacco is on health outcomes many of the actions required to reduce the health harms and associated costs are shared across government departments. This means the tobacco strategy requires strong partnership working between States Departments in recognition that working towards a community free from tobacco related harms is a social issue as well as a health issue.”

The Minister for Health and Social Services, Andrew Green, said "This strategy has an important focus on children and young people this is because we know nearly all adult smokers start young. I fully support our aspiration to work towards a ‘generation of non-smokers’. This will be key to preventing the harm that tobacco causes in our community into the future."

Medical Officer of Health Dr Susan Turnbull added "The breadth of interventions across our revised strategy will promote non smoking as the norm among adults and young people, together with supporting existing smokers to quit. This will have long term health benefits for individuals, the health service and our island community."

View the Tobacco Strategy on the States Assembly website

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