Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

Big plans, bright future

View Cabinet Decision Record

Cabinet Decision: 11th July 2013
Title of Item/Report
Scrutiny Report of Review of Tobacco Control
Record of the Decision
Consideration was given to a report of Stockton Council's Housing and Community Safety Select Committee that addressed the issues raised in the review of tobacco control from the two perspectives of regulatory services and public health.

The report highlighted that Stockton Borough had significantly higher than the national average for the number of smoking related deaths each year.

Evidence had been received from a wide range of organisations as detailed within the report.

Fantastic work was being carried out by the Stop Smoking Service (SSS) but, as the report showed, more can and should be done to help those who wish to stop smoking.

The review contained 21 recommendations ranging from local to regional and national actions. Some would be simple to implement and some would require legislation.


1. Stockton Borough Council approach ANEC and the Northern Group of MPs to lobby for legislation requiring the positive licensing of wholesalers / retailers before they can supply tobacco products and for the licensing regime to allow for the full recovery of costs for the licensing authority.

2. Stockton Borough Council approach ANEC and the Northern Group of MPs to lobby for legislation to require a no smoking zone around the entrance to all public access buildings and areas - in particular pubs, clubs, hospitals, schools, shopping centres, parks and play areas.

3. Stockton Borough Council introduce a voluntary code of smokefree practice in and around designated children's play areas.

4. Stockton Borough Council lobby the Government to reconsider its position and support the introduction of a ban on smoking in cars.

5. The Smokefree Stockton Alliance explore the development of a local campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of smoking in cars especially the harmful effects on children.

6. Stockton Borough Council lobby the Government to reconsider its position and support the introduction of plain packaging for tobacco products.

7. Stockton Borough Council support people to stop smoking by distributing a Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) screening questionnaire to all staff and councillors and provide a pathway to smoking cessation services if required.

8. Stockton Borough Council encourage staff and Council Members to stop smoking by providing work-time access to smoking cessation services.

9. Nicotine Replacement Treatment be offered routinely to all patients on admission who smoke.

10. The NHS Foundation Trust forms, when recording the smoking status of patients, also record if stop smoking brief intervention is given to smokers and if referral is accepted.

11. Explore improved and increased partnership working with Schools, Colleges, Youth Service and Fire Service to promote the Stop Smoking Service.

12. Explore improved access to workplaces in partnership with the Environmental Health Service to promote the Stop Smoking Service.

13. Explore increased opportunities for brief intervention training with Housing and Social Care staff to promote the Stop Smoking Service.

14. Stockton Borough Council work towards achieving the North East Better Health at Work Gold Award and register the Council's commitment to tobacco control as part of the Public Health Responsibility Deal (H5).

15. Stockton Borough Council ensure the inclusion of publicity for the Stop Smoking Service to the wider community both on its website and in the key public health campaigns planned for this year.

16. Stockton Borough Councillors consider promoting the dates, times and venues of the Stop Smoking Sessions on their web page/website.

17. The smoking status of pregnant women should be recorded when scans are being taken. This will capture smoking status of women not attending the antenatal classes and increase opportunity to offer stop smoking intervention.

18. The Director of Public Health consider an additional 2 days of midwifery time to enable midwives to provide specialist support for those women who declined the stop smoking support and to implement the babyClear project in 2013.

19. The Teesside Pension Fund seek the views of fund members (current, past and retired and including the other local authorities who are part of the fund) on divesting from tobacco.

20. Stockton Council's Director of Public Health to seek and record the views of other Directors of Public Health regarding pension fund investment in tobacco companies.

21. Stockton Council's Chair of the Health and Wellbeing Board work with the ANEC Chairs' of Health and Wellbeing Boards to explore local authority pension fund disinvestment in tobacco companies.
Reasons for the Decision
1. The Committee was keen to assist those delivering services in Stockton Borough to address smoking which is the single biggest preventable cause of premature death. 18% of deaths in adults over 35 are a result of smoking (approx. 290 deaths per year) and 19.6% of adults (18+) smoke, this equates to approximately 35,000 people. Although there has been a recent reduction in prevalence there are still massive inequalities in smoking prevalence across the wards in Stockton with some of the more deprived wards having a smoking prevalence which is 2 times the Stockton average.

2. There are no robust mechanisms for measuring smoking prevalence of young people. Stockton Social Norms Project provides a proxy and identified that approximately 15% of college students in a sample of 922 smoked, with 38% taking up smoking at 14 years of age.

3. 18.4% of pregnant mothers in Stockton were reported as smokers at time of delivery. In England 13.5% of pregnant women smoke whilst in the Northeast the figure was 21.1% for quarter four in 2010/11.
Alternative Options Considered and Rejected
Declared (Cabinet Member) Conflicts of Interest
Councillor Beall, Harrington and Nelson all declared a personal interest in respect of agenda item 4 - Scrutiny Report of Review of Tobacco Control as they were a member of Teesside Pension Fund.
Details of any Dispensations
Date and Time by which Call In must be executed
Midnight on Friday, 19th July 2013

Date of Publication: 15 July 2013

Can't find it

Can't find what you're looking for? Let us know and we'll do our best to point you in the right direction