The College of Paramedics supports the plans to helping smokers across the country to quit through a new programme of stop smoking support, reducing the appeal and availability of vapes to young people, moving towards a smokefree generation.
Tobacco is the single most important entirely preventable cause of ill health, disability and death in this country, responsible for 64,000 deaths in England a year. Smoking causes harm throughout people’s lives. It is a major risk factor for poor maternal and infant outcomes, significantly increasing the chance of stillbirth and can trigger asthma in children. It leads to people needing care and support on average a decade earlier than they would have otherwise, often while still of working age. Smokers lose an average of ten years of life expectancy, or around one year for every 4 smoking years.
The College of Paramedics supports the Chief Medical Officer proposal in his policy paper to Creating a smokefree generation and tackling youth vaping - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) and welcomes the personal invite from the Chief Medical Officer to submit a response to the consultation.
The College is drafting a response to the consultation which will demonstrate our support of this positive policy as a professional body, providing examples on the roles of paramedics in encouraging our patients to quit smoking (including referral/signposting to the local smoking cessation services) and how the College will support our members to achieve this.
The College believes real-life examples of paramedics’ signposting/referrals to stop smoking service could strengthen our response and support the smokefree generation ambition.
We urge our members to share your examples of when you have attended a patient who could have benefited by receiving help to find their local stop smoking support with us.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Additionally, the College encourages individuals and organisations to respond to the consultation, to share your views and show your support for the policy Creating a smokefree generation and tackling youth vaping - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk). The consultation is open until 6 December and sets out plans to tackle health inequalities caused by smoking and nicotine addiction, as well as taking steps to address youth vaping.
The College of Paramedics will develop support for members interested in quitting smoking as part of our wellbeing support for members as one of the five key strategic aims in the College of Paramedics 2019/24 Strategy.