NHS Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale Clinical Commissioning Group (NHS HMR CCG) has signed the NHS Smokefree Pledge to commit to reducing the harm in Rochdale borough caused by tobacco and declare its support for a smokefree NHS.

The Pledge has been developed by the Smokefree Action Coalition  and endorsed by Steve Brine MP, the Public Health Minister, Simon Stevens, Chief Executive of NHS England, Duncan Selbie, Chief Executive of Public Health England, and other health leaders.

The CCG signed up to the NHS Smokefree Pledge, which is also supported by Rochdale Borough Council, to help smokers in Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale to quit and provide smokefree environments which support them. The pledge also supports Greater Manchester’s radical ambition to become the first tobacco free city in the UK, in an initiative called Making Smoking History being led by Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership.

Dr Chris Duffy, Chair of NHS HMR CCG and local GP, said: “The shocking fact is one in two long term smokers will die from a smoking related disease - some of them in their 40s. Smoking is the leading cause of premature death and disease and over 4,500 people die from smoking in Greater Manchester every year – that’s 13 people a day.

“Stopping smoking is one of the most important things people can do for their health, and supporting smokers to quit through the NHS Smokefree Pledge is part of our ambition to achieve a smoke free borough and help local residents to live healthier lives and have better futures.”

Figures from Public Health England show that in the borough of Rochdale 19.4 per cent of adults smoke, higher than the national average. Every year smoking costs the borough an estimated £59.1million and in 2015/16 it was the cause of 2,418 hospital admissions.

The commitments in the NHS Smokefree Pledge include:

-Treat tobacco dependency among patients and staff who smoke as set out in the Tobacco Control Plan for England

-Ensure that smokers within the NHS have access to the medication they need to quit in line with NICE guidance on smoking in secondary care

-Create environments that support quitting through implementing smokefree policies as recommended by NICE.

Dave Gorner, an IT manager from Rochdale, is backing the Make Smoking History initiative as a History Maker. In this role he is gaining support and input from local people to help Greater Manchester to become tobacco free. Dave said: “It’s been 20 years since I quit smoking and I haven’t looked back: it’s fundamentally pointless and kills. Making smoking history in Greater Manchester would mean healthier people, lower mortality rates and less drain on health services. By signing the NHS Smokefree Pledge, HMR CCG together with Rochdale Borough Council are making a strong commitment to protecting local people from harm from tobacco use and stubbing out smoking for the next generation.”

Local people are encouraged to take the History Maker survey and have their say on ideas and approaches to end tobacco harm via this link:

Find help & advice on how to quit smoking at or call your local stop smoking service on 01706 751190.



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