To consider a presentation and needs assessment from the Public Health Programme Manager.
The Public Health Programme Manager presented the actions and results following the Health and Wellbeing Board’s deep dive the year before. Since that deep dive the Trafford’s tobacco alliance had been launched which was a collective partnership of stakeholders who looked at reducing smoking. A CLEAR assessment had taken place which had highlighted where the alliance was performing well and where they needed to improve. Trafford had performed quite poorly overall, but the analysis had been conducted prior to the partnership being formed. The Board were provided with an overview of each of the indicators and their meaning.
The alliance had conducted an updated smoking needs assessment and the data had shown Trafford was still below the English and GM data which was good. There had been a slight increase post pandemic, however, the data did not provide the full picture, with less gathered face to face and a greater reliance upon telephone interviews. Higher smoking rates were seen within Stretford, Partington, and Sale Moor. Higher rates were also seen by those who worked in routine and manual job roles. Trafford’s statistics were lower than Greater Manchester (GM) in all areas, including young people and those with substance dependence. The results showed that 90% of young people had never smoked and 77% had never tried a vape.
The next steps for the tobacco alliance were shared by the Public Health Programme Manager, which involved, reviewing the CLEAR assessment, the needs assessment, supporting the groups identified as needing support, and developing a strategy and action plan. A team away day had been scheduled to look at these challenges. Finally, the board were notified that the high impact action plans were in the process of being completed.
The Chair mentioned the importance that vaping should remain important to the alliance, due to the number of young people taking it up.
The Trafford Integrated Network Director spoke of the importance of the neighbourhood model and of the work which had been done to reduce smoking within North Trafford, which was proving difficult. The Trafford Integrated Network Director raised doubts around young people smoking data as it did not reflect the experience of his children and their friends.
The Public Health Programme Manager agreed with the issue of young people and vaping, as it was something that had increased in recent years, with smoking decreasing. She mentioned that young people were more likely to lie in a survey, which caused issues with the statistics. A research project was due to commence in September to look at vaping level among young people.
The Housing Strategy and Growth Manager suggested organising a meeting with housing associations around reducing smoking due to higher prevalence of smoking social housing. The Public Health Programme Manager responded that there had been interest from ‘Great Places’ to start a pilot project around interventions within social housing. The Housing Strategy and Growth Manager felt that working with ‘Great Places’ was a good start but engaging L&Q and Irwell Valley social housing groups would have a larger impact due to the level of stock they had within Trafford.
The Corporate Director for Place also challenged vaping data, saying how it was really high within schools across all years. He felt that communications around vaping form the council needed to be clearer, as there was a mix of messages going out. The Corporate Director for Place also mentioned that greater communication was needed around the health and environmental consequences of vaping. The Public Health Programme Manager responded agreed that the messaging could be confusing, especially with the way vapes were marketed with bright colours and flavours which appealed to young people.
The Chief Executive of Trafford Leisure asked how early children were made aware of the issues of vaping/smoking. The Public Health Programme Manager responded that this was being done from year six, with posters placed across schools to raise awareness, as well as increased promotion within secondary schools. The Chief Executive of Trafford Leisure spoke of the organisation highlighted the issues of smoking and vaping to young people on work placements. She felt having more interventions and more creative ways to allow young people to access smoking cessation would be a good option for the alliance.
Trafford Community Collective’s Representative offered to meet to look at neighbourhood engagement as smoking cessation was one of the leading agenda items for his organisation. He also highlighted the opportunity to link it with some of the housing work.
A Governance Officer spoke of data that suggested posters can sometimes trigger vaping more, rather than decrease the levels. He also mentioned how in Canada and Australia smoke free places, were also vape free places, with much lower levels of smoking in both places compared to the UK. The Public Health Programme Manager replied that the posters were designed to educate and dispel myths about smoking and vaping. She agreed with aligning smoke free with vape free, and this was something that would become more prevalent to discussions in the future.
The Associate Medical Director agreed with all that had been said. He felt children were enticed by the sweet flavours and bright colours and by misconceptions that vaping was safe. He spoke of data indicating that vaping could cause chronic lung disease, so people starting to vape earlier was worrying.
The Chair thanked all for their contributions before moving the recommendations of the report which were agreed.
RESOLVED: That the report be noted and its recommendations approved.