09 March 2017
Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council marked this year’s No Smoking Day campaign by holding an event at the Northern Regional College on Wednesday 8 March. Staff and students at the Newtownabbey campus were provided with advice and guidance on the benefits of quitting smoking. They were also given the opportunity to get their carbon monoxide levels tested, providing them with visible proof of the presence of this poisonous gas in their bloodstream. Students were also invited to take part in a quiz, testing their knowledge on the dangers of smoking and highlighting both the health and financial benefits of kicking the habit.
Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Councillor John Scott commented, “Smoking is accountable for far too many deaths in Northern Ireland each year. Smoking can have a negative impact on your fitness levels, sense of smell and taste, as well as your long term health. No Smoking Day is a great opportunity for those who smoke to quit for good as there is plenty of help and advice readily available.”
The Public Health Agency reports that in Northern Ireland, around 340,000 people aged 16 and over smoke. Smoking contributes to not only many cancers, heart disease, bronchitis and asthma, but other illnesses including stroke, which cause around 2400 deaths per year here, all of which are avoidable.
The Northern Regional College used the Workplace Stop Smoking Service when they wanted to review their No Smoking policy and address the use of e-cigarettes inside their buildings. Stephen McCartney, Head of Student Services for Newtownabbey Regional College said, “The information and guidance provided by the Workplace Stop Smoking Service was exceptionally useful when we decided to address smoking on our premises. Northern Regional College has banned e-cigarettes across all of our six sites since 2015. Any business or organisation having similar issues should try this service.”
The free Workplace Smoking Cessation Service is available to all businesses, providing expert guidance on what steps they can take to improve the health of their workforce, be it through workplace clinics, employee engagement events or developing and reviewing their smoke free policies. Using a workplace setting to encourage and support people to quit smoking is beneficial for everyone in the business as it results in better health, increased productivity, improved staff morale, a pleasant working environment and a good corporate image.
To find out more about this free service, contact Gillian McAtackney on 07841954240 or 028 2826 2373 or visit www.want2stop.info for further information.