With effect from Sunday, 1 July 2018, St Helena Government (SHG) will become a 'Smoke-Free Government'.
The 'Smoke-Free Government' initiative forms part of the Health Promotion Strategic Framework that has the aim of reducing the illness, disability and early deaths in St Helena's community due to type two diabetes, heart disease, stroke and cancers. Smoking and being overweight or obese are the two main preventable causes of all these conditions and the HPSF includes a range of measures to help the community reduce these issues.
The 'Smoke-Free Government' policy is one part of efforts to create a new non-smoking 'norm' in the community, with government sites and staff members at work setting an example and creating public spaces where smoking is not part of the usual way of things. All of SHG's outside areas will be smoke-free from 1 July, alongside the already smoke-free indoor areas.
Councillor Derek Thomas, Chairman of the Public Health Committee, commented:
This policy is for the future health of our community and I urge all our community members to help us make it work so that we can reduce the level of smoking-related illness and disease among our community members. If you smoke please smoke away from the government sites, and remember that there is support available to help you quit, when you decide you are ready to do this.
All outside areas of SHG sites will be Smoke-Free
Staff and members of the public are not able to smoke anywhere on any SHG site, including areas such as car parks and terraces. If people wish to smoke they are requested to please smoke off site and away from the front of premises, to help support us in setting a smoke-free 'norm' for our community and our young people in particular. The policy also provides greater protection for all staff and visitors from second-hand smoke, which is a health risk in outdoor areas as well as indoors.
Users of Francis Plain
The Smoke-Free policy will also apply to Francis Plain, this already happens on School Sports Days when a 'no smoking' policy has previously been in place. The area is used by many young people and families who attend to enjoy playing and watching sport. If you smoke and are using or attending events at Francis Plain please smoke before or after you reach the area. We want to show our children and young people a smoke-free example.
Support for Smokers to Quit
People start smoking for different reasons, and many smokers would like to quit but find this difficult. A new service to provide advice and support about the most effective ways to quit, the Smoking Cessation Support Service, will be available to all from 1 July onward.
Quitting smoking is most effective when this advice and support is combined with use of a Nicotine Replacement Therapy. Patches, gum, and medication options are there and help smokers manage the cravings they experience when first quitting cigarettes. All community members who smoke will be able to try a free four-week course of an appropriate Nicotine Replacement Therapy option when they attend the service. Make an appointment at Medical Records at the Hospital or by calling the Half Tree Hollow Clinic on tel: 23563.
Source: St Helena Government