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London launches its Tobacco Alliance to end smoking in the capital

The culmination of years of work, it is the first of its kind in the capital.

The London Tobacco Alliance (LTA), created to enable partners to accelerate efforts to eliminate smoking in London, launched on 26th October. The culmination of years of work, it is the first of its kind in the capital.

The aim of the alliance is to ensure becoming a smoke-free city remains a top public health priority for London, supporting the shared ambition to be the world’s healthiest city.

Through the LTA, its partners will combine efforts to prioritise the health and wellbeing of Londoners, promote more smokefree environments, and reduce the health inequalities associated with smoking and tobacco products, ensuring no children born today will be tempted to ever start smoking.

London Tobacco Alliance partners include Directors of Public Health, representatives from the Office of Health Improvement and Disparities, the NHS in London, London Councils, the GLA as well as voluntary sector organisations and academic institutions.

London Launches its Tobacco Alliance

Watch this video to understand more about the London Tobacco Alliance and what it means for ending smoking in London.

A view of London

Chris Streather, Medical Director NHS England (London) said:

“Smoking is probably the thing that causes the most avoidable harm to our population. We made real strides 20 years ago restricting smoking in public places. But since then, we haven’t done as many big things that have made a difference. There are still a hugely significant number of people still smoking and worryingly there are a lot of pregnant women who smoke. So now is a really good time, particularly as we recover from the pandemic, to focus on things we can do to prevent harm for large numbers of people.”

Hazel Cheeseman, Deputy Chief Executive for Smoking on Action and Health (ASH) said:

“The best regional programmes are in Westminster telling politicians what it is that we need to really transform the most vulnerable communities to smoking, to make sure that we can reach into every place. So, if London is really flying in five years’ time, it won’t just be leading for London, it’s going to be leading for the whole country.”

Professor Kevin Fenton, Regional Director for London, Office for Health Improvement and Disparities said:

“Regional Tobacco Alliances work. We have great examples of where they’ve been highly effective in other parts of the country and we’re now keen to bring the learning and expertise from that to bring to bear here in London. Through the alliance we’ll be able to understand what’s being delivered in the city at this time, where the gaps are and how working together we can help to fill those gaps and ensure we are more than the sum of our parts.”

Dr Somen Banerjee, Co-chair and Smoking Cessation Lead, Association of Directors of Public Health London said:

“Eliminating smoking remains our single biggest opportunity to close the gap in health outcomes.

“Supporting people to quit smoking is the most impactful factor in improving a person’s health and quality of life and preventing premature death.

“Through the LTA, we have a real opportunity to tackle health inequalities and support communities most disproportionately affected by smoking and tobacco harms.”

Bob Blackman, Conservative MP for Harrow and Chair APPG on Tobacco said:

“My parents died when I was 23. They both died of cancer. Both died because of smoking. We had two years prior to their death of terrible experience, in terms of health and me seeing my parents die literally in front of me. I don’t want any family to go through that and so therefore for me, it’s not just a health-related issue or a community issue. For me it’s personal

“If we can actually make this work then we reduce down the terrible impact that tobacco has on society.”

Tracy Parr, Programme Director, London Tobacco Alliance and Stop Smoking London said:

“The London Tobacco Alliance will act as a regional voice to make London smokefree by 2030 and will focus on the inequalities around smoking. We already have a number of key partners including OHID, ASH, NHS England, the GLA as well as Directors for Public Health and London Trading Standards.

“The Alliance works by convening partners and experts, to share best-practice, innovations and up to date insights as well as identify opportunities for tackling illicit tobacco. Through collaboration partners will share and create system-wide approaches as well as utilising Stop Smoking London as a key resource to help more people to stop smoking.”

Join the London Tobacco Alliance.

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