West Sussex County Council supports calls for fund to help reduce harm caused by smoking

West Sussex County Council members have come together to support calls for a Smokefree Fund that would help reduce the harm caused by smoking.

The notice of motion was submitted and debated at a meeting of the Full Council on Friday 27 May and received cross-party support.

A Smokefree Fund has been proposed nationally by organisations including Cancer Research UK and Action on Smoking & Health (ASH). It would be a fixed annual charge on the tobacco industry to fund work that helps to reduce the prevalence of smoking among our communities.

The motion was agreed by the full council ahead of World No Tobacco Day on Tuesday 31 May, which is a global effort to raise awareness and take action on the harmful impact of the tobacco industry on the environment and the damage smoking causes to our health.

There’s never been a better time to quit and you’re not alone if you need support.

Use the postcode checker on the West Sussex Wellbeing website to find local services.

Councillor Bob Lanzer, West Sussex County Council Cabinet Member lead for Public Health said: “I am very pleased that the motion received cross-party agreement, meaning our calls for a SmokeFree Fund will have the full backing of Council Members. I’m grateful to colleagues for their support.

“Smoking remains the largest preventable cause of illness and premature death. Public health initiatives to encourage people to quit have been very successful over the years, but smoking still remains one of the biggest contributing factors to differences in the health between communities. So there’s still much to do to address these inequalities.

“To mark World No Tobacco Day on Tuesday 31 May, we’re encouraging everyone to have a conversation about smoking and promote the support available to help people quit.

“We know that smoking harms the immune system and leaves us vulnerable to infections. No matter how long you’ve smoked, quitting is the best thing you can do for your health. You won’t just feel better, you’ll also be saving yourself money.

“You are much more likely to be a successful quitter if you have professional support from an advisor, compared to trying alone. So I’d encourage everyone to take a look at the support available and share it with loved ones who may be looking for extra help to quit for good.”