Screen Shot 2016-03-01 at 16.34.18The recommendations of a Scrutiny Commission set-up to look at the issue of smoking across the Borough will be up for discussion next week.

South Tyneside Council’s People Select Committee established the Commission last year after it was revealed South Tyneside is the fifth worst area in the country for people being admitted to hospital with smoking related issues according to information published by Public Health England.

The Commission investigated how the Council is currently tackling the prevalence of smoking in the Borough and has laid out a number of recommendations to address the issue. These include carrying out more work to help prevent youngsters from starting to smoke and helping to reduce the number of women who smoke during pregnancy as well as greater recognition of the links between smoking and poverty.

Councillor John McCabe, Chairman of the People Select Committee, said: “The Health and wellbeing of our residents is important to us. We understand that the majority of smokers want to stop smoking, but many find the task too daunting. We want to offer residents across the Borough the support they need to succeed in their attempt to quit and to help prevent future generations from starting to smoke.

“Smoking is one of the main causes of death and illness in the UK, with around 100,000 people dying every year from smoking. The single biggest thing a person can do to improve their health is to quit smoking.

“As a council we want to ensure we are doing everything we can to reduce the number of smokers in the Borough and the risk of serious smoking related diseases. Research has shown people are four times more likely to succeed in stopping smoking if they get support. We will consider the evidence and recommendations from the Scrutiny Commission and discuss how services can be improved to promote healthier lifestyle choices and increase people’s awareness of the harmful effects of smoking.”

The Committee will also receive a report outlining the complaints and compliments the Council received in relation to the social care of adults, children and families between April 2014 and March 2015.