Nottingham City Council will make 2016 a ‘Smoke free Summer’ as it looks to dramatically reduce the number of smokers in the city.
Key family events in public spaces will be declared ‘smoke free’ in a bid to protect children and young people.
The ambitious move is part of the Council’s latest five-year Tobacco Control Strategy, which sets out plans to confront the issue.
Startling new figures show that:
More than one in every four adults, (around 64,000), in Nottingham is a smoker – compared with fewer than one-in-five nationally
In terms of smoking prevalence, Nottingham is 20 years behind the national average
Tobacco is responsible for half of the difference in life expectancy between Nottingham’s poorest and most affluent communities
22% of households in the city allow smoking in the home around children
The total cost to the NHS locally every year to deal with smoking-related ill-health is about £11m
Around 268 million cigarettes and roll-ups are smoked in the city every year, generating 46 tonnes of litter
Smoking-related illness costs the City Council an additional £3m annually to provide care for smokers and ex-smokers.
The clear vision is to reduce the harm that tobacco use inflicts on communities as well as to tackle the issue of illegal tobacco supply.
One of the main actions will be to follow the success of smoke free events last year at the Beach and Winter Wonderland, in Old Market Square.
A number of key Nottingham family events this summer will become smoke free, including the Lord Mayor’s Parade, the family area at the Riverside Festival, the outdoor theatre at Wollaton, the castle and Newstead and the Beach and Winter Wonderland again.
Last year, 91% of people surveyed afterwards said they would support more family events being smoke free in the future.
The City Council was the first in the East Midlands in 2011 to introduce a voluntary ban on smoking in playgrounds and around school gates.
It was followed by a motion passed in September 2014 where the authority agreed to use new legislation to introduce more smoke free areas where the public wanted them.