It’s great to see that the NHS Trust in Portsmouth has won national recognition for its work in getting people to stop smoking.
It goes without saying that everybody knows the damage smoking can do, not just to the health of the smoker, but to those around them too.
But that hasn’t stopped Portsmouth and the surrounding areas having an alarmingly high number of smokers.
In this case, the trust grasped the nettle and, through working in partnership with groups throughout the city, came up with a powerful and successful campaign, winning the British Heart Foundation award and beating competition from 80 other entries.
It linked up with Pompey, the city council, school and GPs, giving it a huge reach.
It also ran a poster campaign to encourage people not to smoke outside the hospital doors at the QA in Cosham.
There can be fewer depressing sights than the gaggles of people seen outside the doors of offices – and especially a hospital – desperate for a puff on their next cigarette.
In one stunt, the trust laid out 325 pairs of shoes, representing the number of people who die in the city each year from smoking-related illness.
As an image, it’s powerful and would no doubt make most people think twice about lighting up.
As city councillor Leo Madden says: ‘I’m pleased to see that by working together we have delivered the best possible service for the people of Portsmouth’.
And we agree. Anything that can encourage people to quit the habit and help themselves and their families can only be a good thing.
So we hope as many smokers as possible take advantage of the support on offer and kick the ciggies.