A SENIOR doctor has welcomed Hartlepool’s role in a project to tackle the harm caused by tobacco.
Dr Boleslaw Posmyk, the chairman of the Hartlepool and Stockton Clinical Commissioning Group, reacted after delegates from the town visited London to back the Local Government Declaration on Tobacco Control.
He described the move as “a positive step” at a time when hundreds of Hartlepool people are still smoking.
The town’s rate of adult smokers was 21.9 per cent in 2010/11 which means that around one in five of all adults in Hartlepool still light up.
But, Hartlepool does have one of the best take-up rates of people turning to quit-smoking groups.
Dr Posmyk added: “I travelled to the Houses of Parliament in London where we as a Clinical Commissioning Group, along with Hartlepool Borough Council took part in a launch of the Local Government Declaration on Tobacco Control.
“The declaration, which is endorsed by the country’s leading public health organisations, was developed by Newcastle City Council in May. It is a statement of a local authority’s commitment to tackling harm from smoking.
“It includes important commitments to have a local plan, support national action on tobacco and protect local health policy from tobacco industry influence.”
He said 28 councils have now signed the declaration with many more planning to in the near future.
Despite the smoking figures, the Stockton and Hartlepool quit-smoking service has one of the best records in the country for helping people to quit cigarettes.
In 2010, it had the second best rate in the country with 1,936 people (per 100,000 population) successfully quitting.
Anyone looking to quit can visit www.nhs.uk/smokefree