Derry Western Trust celebrate 15 years of Smoking Order

Today, May 31 marks WHO World No Tobacco Day and the Western Health and Social Care Trust (Western Trust) Smoking Cessation Team urge smokers to use this day as an opportunity to quit.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 31st May 2022, 11:38 am

Following on from ‘Make March your month to quit’ the team want to invite smokers to ‘make any month your month to quit.’

Recently the Western Trust’s Smoking Cessation service, along with Derry City and Strabane District Council, celebrated the 15th anniversary of the introduction of the Northern Ireland Smoking Order which came into force on April 30 2007.

The Western Trust implemented smokefree sites from March 12 2014. Apart from very limited exemption arrangements, there is no dedicated area to smoke.

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The Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Graham Warke marking 15 years of being Smoke Free in Northern Ireland, pictured outside the Guildhall on Monday morning Included from left are Ailish O'Neill, Public Health Authority, Conor Logue, Tobacco Officer, Derry City and Strabane District Council, Michelle Scott, Western Trust and Seamus Ward, Western Trust. (Photo: Jim McCafferty Photography)

For the past 15 years it has been an offence to smoke in any workplace, including vehicles, or in any public space that is substantially enclosed.

In addition new legislation came into effect from February 1 2022 to further protect children and young people from the dangers of second-hand smoke make it an offence to smoke in a smoke-free private vehicle.

It is also illegal for a retailer to sell either tobacco products or, from 1 February 2022, nicotine inhaling products (including e-cigarettes/ vapes) to anyone under the age of 18. This includes cigarette papers or e-cigarette/ vaping device refill containers. It is also an offence for an adult to buy, or try to buy, any tobacco products or nicotine inhaling products (including e-cigarettes/ vapes) on behalf of someone under the age of 18 (known as proxy purchasing).

Fines can range from £50 to £500. You can find out more information here.Mayor of Derry and Strabane, Alderman Graham Warke said: “The legislation has dramatically reduced exposure to second hand smoke, particularly in workplaces and on public transport and has also acted as a reminder to the public of the health risks associated with smoking. This is an opportune time for people to who want to cut down or quit for good to seek support which is available to them.”

Colette Rogers, Strategic Lead for Tobacco Control, from the Public Health Agency said: “On this, the 15 year anniversary of the NI Smoking Order, we are encouraging people to consider embarking on a quit attempt and improve their overall health. With the recent introduction of new legislation to protect children from second hand smoke in cars, maybe you’ve already been thinking about trying to quit and this could be the opportunity you’ve been waiting for to set a quit date and quit for good.

“There is a lot of free professional support available throughout Northern Ireland for those who want to quit and you can find information about your nearest service at www.stopsmokingni.info.

“We know quitting isn’t easy and it can often take several attempts to be successful, so if you have tried previously, please don’t be discouraged from trying again.”

Michelle Scott, Smoking Cessation Coordinator for the Western Health and Social Care Trust added: “We are delighted to mark the 15th anniversary of Derry City and Strabane District Council’s smoke free status. At the Western Trust we also promote smoke free and vape free policies within our grounds. Smoking prevalence over the past 15 years has been steadily declining from 24% to 17% in 2019/20 however there are still people who smoke and vape who would like to stop. Support is out there and we would encourage anyone over the age of 12 who would like support or further information to contact our dedicated helpline number on 08009179388. We have on hand a team of dedicated nurse specialists who will help guide you through a tailor made 12 week programme providing support, motivation and stop smoking medication if required. Other points of contact for those wishing to quit are your local G.P or any smoking cessation pharmacy / chemist that offers smoking cessation support.”

For advice on quitting, contact the Western Trust’s Smoking Cessation Service helpline number on 08009179388 where a team of dedicated nurse specialists will help guide you through a tailor made 12 week programme providing support, motivation and stop smoking medication if required.

Further information and advice on quitting visit www.stopsmokingni.info