Tobacco control and smoking


Recommendations Progress   
Historical recommendations made for consideration
Continue to address tobacco control though Bedfordshire Tobacco Free Alliance, ensuring that it is a strategic multi agency partnership with senior level accountability and a dedicated, well funded, coordinated resource. Bedfordshire Tobacco Free Alliance has been reviewed and will now meet on an annual basis.  Sub groups, for example Illicit tobacco, will be convened to develop and monitor action.  Updates regarding activity will be sent to members as required.

Continue implementation of the local tobacco control plan using local data and intelligence to ensure appropriate targeting and measurable outcomes.

A new Tobacco Plan for England is being developed by Public Health England, to replace the current version that expires at the end of 2015.  Once this document is released a framework for the delivery of the plan across Central Bedfordshire will be developed.
Recruitment of a dedicated tobacco control post for Central Bedfordshire. A part time post has been recruited for Central Bedfordshire and commenced work in April 2014.
Consider commissioning and delivering tobacco control initiatives over a larger geographical area Joint working being considered across Central Bedfordshire, Bedford Borough and Luton.   
Continue to promote compliance with tobacco legislation, for example by funding activities to stop under age sales of tobacco, promote smokefree legislation and reduce the availability of illicit tobacco.

Public Health funds have been transferred to Central Bedfordshire Trading Standards to support delivery of this work.   

Continue to provide training and refresher sessions on Brief Interventions, particularly to front line staff, using the Making Every Contact Count principles. The Stop Smoking Service provides a programme of training; including Level 1, 2 and Very Brief Advice.  Work is ongoing to include online training as part of the Smokefree Bedfordshire Website development.
Continue to provide local stop smoking services in ways that maximise accessibility and outreach. The Stop Smoking Service continually reviews service delivery in line with customer feedback.  Clinics are available at a range of venues Monday to Saturday and include evening appointments.  Telephone appointments and home visits are also available for those unable to access services.
Develop innovative approaches to increase throughput of the stop smoking services whilst maintaining improvement in quit rates A series of pilots are ongoing which aim to increase access to services; these include social marketing, radio advertising, COPD case finding, information sessions and ward visits for inpatients at Luton and Dunstable Hospital and Bedford Hospital Trust.
Further develop interventions for identified groups with high rates of smoking prevalence capitalising on teachable moments such as referral for surgery and unplanned admissions. 

Considerable work is ongoing which focuses  on groups with higher smoking prevalence:

Mental Health – a longer treatment programme has been developed for people with Mental Illness.  Work with East London Foundation Trust is in progress in order to establish referral pathways and ward support for inpatients.

Acute – patients in hospital will now be offered ward support for stopping smoking or temporary abstinence at both Luton and Dunstable Hospital and Bedford Hospital Trust.

MSOAs – targeted work is ongoing in Central Bedfordshire’s most deprived wards to ensure accessibility. 

Routine and Manual – workplaces are able to hold smoking support groups that are facilitated by the Stop Smoking Service.  A social marketing campaign will launch in December 2015 targeting this group.

Encourage local people to make their homes and cars smoke free. 

New legislation on smokefree cars came into effect on the 1st of October 2015, making it an offence to smoke in a private vehicle with someone under 18 years old present.  Local promotion of the new legislation was undertaken including a countdown to 1st October on the Central Bedfordshire website. Due to the change in legislation the local Smokefree Homes and Cars scheme has been adapted and also now covers the use of electronic cigarettes. Health Visitors and Children Centre staff have been trained in the dangers of second hand smoke and the local scheme to enable informed conversations at all appropriate interventions.       
Robust data collection and monitoring of Stop Smoking Service users’ that also have mental health conditions. The Specialist Stop Smoking Service now collects data on those with mental health conditions.  Data is still unavailable from other sources but has been included on the new Gold Standard Monitoring Form and Quit Manager
Implementation of Public Health Guidance No. 45: Tobacco: harm reduction approaches to smoking.         More flexible treatment programmes are now available for those who find it difficult using the abrupt quit model.  Pilots will be evaluated in 2015/16 to monitor effectiveness.
Recommendations Responsible Organisation Timescale
Recommendations for consideration:
Tackling illicit tobacco - Cheap illegal tobacco fuels teen smoking, worsens health inequalities and is linked to crime.  To help smokers quit and prevent young people from taking up the habit it is important to reduce the supply and demand of illicit tobacco.  Programmes to reduce supply and demand have a big impact on motivating smokers to quit and with good marketing increasing footfall to Stop Smoking Services.

Public Health

Central Bedfordshire Council Trading Standards


March 16

Increased Focus on Harm Reduction - The pool of smokers is not only smaller but more challenging, with greater levels of addiction and multiple issues.  Given that socioeconomic disadvantage is associated with heavier smoking and higher nicotine dependence, more flexible interventions which encourage smokers to gradually cut down before quitting rather than quit abruptly are needed.


Public Health

Supporting vulnerable smokers to quit - Although people with multiple needs are likely to find it harder, they often report wanting to quit smoking as much as the general population.  Extended programmes to support those with long term conditions could improve abstinence and prevent relapse.

Public Health

Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group

March 17
Electronic Cigarettes - Increase in ‘vaping’ (electronic cigarette use) has contributed to a decline in throughput to Stop Smoking Services nationally.  The recent clarification from Public Health England has provided some evidence to support the use of electronic cigarettes as a stop smoking aid.

Public Health

March 17

Temporary abstinence for inpatients - Support temporary abstinence for inpatients in Acute and Mental Health settings with the long term aim of stopping smoking all together.

Public Health


Luton and Dunstable Hospital

Bedford Hospital Trust
March 16
Workplace Stop Smoking Initiatives - Work more closely with local businesses to encourage smoking cessation programmes in the workplace and increase accessibility for our Routine and Manual workers.  Public Health March 17
Pharmacies - Explore alternative ways of commissioning Pharmacies in order to maximise footfall and opportunistic support provided in the community.

Public Health

March 16
Marketing - Develop a more customer focused marketing plan using a range of media to target key groups with information, support and encouragement to stop smoking, specifically using the support available through Central Bedfordshire Stop Smoking Service.

Public Health

Central Bedfordshire Communications

March 17
Stop Smoking Champions - Peer Involvement - A Stop Smoking ‘peer mentor programme’ for our vulnerable populations; peer-support programmes are emerging as highly effective and empowering ways for people to manage health issues in a socially supportive context, particularly for those with fewer opportunities to access such support informally. Public Health March 17
Improved use of Technology - Develop the Smokefree Bedfordshire website and incorporate online support programmes for service users as well as electric booking systems to simplify administration processes and improve the customer experience. Public Health March 16

Last updated Thursday, 11th May 2017