Kirklees Council at the front line of national efforts to achieve a Smokefree 2030

Kirklees Council Chief Executive Jacqui Gedman, Leader of Kirklees Council Councillor Shabir Pandor and Director of Public Health Rachel Spencer-Henshall signing The Local Government Declaration on Tobacco Control

Today is World No Tobacco Day and in addition to the impact of tobacco on smokers and their families, this year’s campaign is looking at the environmental impact of tobacco on the planet.  

To mark World No Tobacco Day here in Kirklees, we stand united in signing the Local Government Tobacco Control Declaration which is a statement of a council’s commitment to ensure tobacco control is part of its public health work and to collaboratively work towards achieving a Smokefree 2030.

In England, despite the decline in smoking rates, smoking is the single largest driver of health inequalities. Nearly 45,000 people smoke tobacco in Kirklees, and this is higher across some parts of the district.  We are continuing to work across our communities to reduce smoke related health inequalities, improve health and poverty as well as our environment.   

The Local Government Declaration on Tobacco Control will be a catalyst for local action and for the council and partners to continue building on the work of the Kirklees Tobacco Control Alliance, formed in 2021. This includes preventing people from starting smoking in the first place and creating smokefree places for everyone to enjoy. Kirklees Council’s Public Health Team commission a high quality, responsive and free stop smoking support service for all Kirklees residents aged 18 or over.

Leader of Kirklees Council, Councillor Shabir Pandor said:

“I’m really pleased that we are supporting and addressing smoke and tobacco related health issues in Kirklees.  Signing the Declaration along with our Chief Executive and Director of Public Health is a formal recognition of our collected efforts and continued commitment to support the residents of Kirklees to live healthier lives.” 

Kirklees Council’s Chief Executive, Jacqui Gedman said:

“The tobacco control work is so much more than supporting smokers to quit as the impacts are wider and go beyond health.  For instance, the supply of illegal tobacco is linked to other serious organised criminal activity and perpetrators target our most vulnerable residents who are experiencing poverty and lower life expectancy.  This part of the tobacco control work brings together partners to ensure we can work together to improve and strengthen our support approach.   I am pleased to be signing this Declaration which sets out a number of commitments to enable local authorities to take leadership in tobacco.”

Kirklees Council’s Director of Public Health, Rachel Spencer-Henshall said:

“Smoking is not a choice; it becomes an addiction which can affect adults and young people. It’s not easy for smokers to quit smoking and can take several attempts to stay stopped. I want to do everything I can to support those smokers who want to stop to never give up, on giving up. This Declaration will bring together the resources and expertise to make sure our stop smoking support service is accessible and a support service signposted through first point of contact in the healthcare system. The service is currently provided by Kirklees Wellness Service, Auntie Pam’s, and more recently part of the Kirklees Employee Health Care Service for council employees.”

To access our free stop smoking support service contact Kirklees Wellness Service.