Our smoke-free work

Our Vision

We want to see the next generation of children born and raised in a Wakefield District which is free from tobacco and where smoking is unusual.

The National ambition is also to create a smokefree generation by 2030.

Achieving our vision

Tobacco control is crucial due to its significant impact on public health. This includes health issues, financial burdens, and health inequalities. It is considered one of the most effective measures for promoting public health at the local level.

The Wakefield Tobacco Control Alliance is a collaborative partnership. It plays a vital role in addressing tobacco control issues in Wakefield.

Led by Wakefield Council's Public Health Team, the alliance brings together key partners to work towards the common goal of tobacco control. These include healthcare organisations, housing authorities, and community services.

The alliance members provide strategic leadership and drive the tobacco control agenda in Wakefield. Their focus is on reducing smoking rates, particularly among children and young people, for a healthier future. They follow evidence-based approaches and continuously strive for excellence in their tobacco control efforts, using the Clear Assessment framework to guide their work.

The work of the Alliance also contributes to the National Ambition to be Smokefree by 2030.

Wakefield Council has supported the goal of achieving a Smokefree UK by 2030. They have endorsed the 'Roadmap to a Smokefree 2030' published by ASH (Action on Smoking and Health) and the recommendations made by the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Smoking and Health to the government.

Facts about Smoking in Pregnancy

Smoking during pregnancy is a significant risk factor for poor birth outcomes and health disparities.

In 2021/22, 14.7% of women smoked at the time of delivery, increasing the risk of stillbirth and health problems for babies.

Quitting smoking early in pregnancy can greatly reduce harm to the baby. Even stopping at any time during pregnancy lowers the risk.

Certain groups, such as young mothers and those in deprived communities, have higher rates of smoking during pregnancy.

However, there has been progress in Wakefield. With the percentage of women smoking at delivery decreasing from 23.9% in 2010/11 to 14.7% in 2021/22.

This decline is due to collaborative efforts involving the following groups:

  • the Public Health team
  • MYHT
  • Yorkshire Smokefree Wakefield
  • Wakefield ICB

Special initiatives, including a dedicated stop smoking Specialist Midwife, have played a vital role in supporting pregnant smokers, especially young mothers, and those in disadvantaged areas.

Baby Buddy App

In Wakefield, we suggest using the Baby Buddy App for pregnant women. This app offers reliable information and helpful tools for the journey into parenthood and early parenting. It covers various topics, including the importance of quitting smoking during pregnancy.

More information regarding the Baby Buddy app

Local Government Declaration on Tobacco Control

Wakefield Council has made a full commitment to tobacco control and have signed the Local Declaration on Tobacco Control. This is a statement of the Council’s commitment to ensure tobacco control is part of mainstream public health work and commits the Council to taking comprehensive action to address the harm from smoking. Click here for more information about the declaration

The Declaration commits councils to:

  • reduce smoking prevalence and health inequalities

  • develop plans with partners and local communities

  • take part in local and regional networks

  • support Government action at national level

  • protect tobacco control work from the commercial and vested interests of the tobacco industry

  • track the progress of plans

  • join the Smokefree Action Coalition

Our NHS partners include:

  • Wakefield ICB

  • The Mid Yorkshire Hospital Trust (MYHT)

  • South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Trust (SWYFT)

They have demonstrated their commitment to reducing smoking by signing the sister document to the Local Government Declaration; the NHS Smokefree Pledge. Here is a link to the pledge: NHS Smokefree Pledge.

The Wakefield Health and Wellbeing Board have also signed a local version of the Declaration. This is to ensure wider partners beyond Local Government and the NHS also demonstrated their commitment to support local programmes of work. We believe we are the only area in the country to have adopted this approach.

Smokefree Environments – Proud to be Smokefree 

The Tobacco Alliance aims to increase the number smoke free environments. This will reduce exposure to second-hand smoke and de-normalise smoking to children and young people.

Positive influences in the school, home and local community prevent young people from taking up smoking. Most people start smoking and become addicted to tobacco when they are children. These children are most at risk of becoming smokers if they grow up in a world where smoking is the norm or accepted.

Children are three times more likely to smoke if they grow up in an environment where those around them smoke. The best way to prevent children from smoking is to get those around them, particularly their parents, to quit.

There are several pieces of work that the Public Health team have been developing around smoke free environments. Some of these are being picked up again as we recover from the pandemic. This includes working with schools and local sports teams.

If you would like to get involved in any of our smokefree environment work please contact: phcommissioning@wakefield.gov.uk.

Proud to be Smokefree - Rugby Clubs and Touchlines

Wakefield Council Public Health are working closely with Wakefield Trinity Rugby Club and Yorkshire Smokefree Wakefield to implement Smokefree Touchlines/Clubs across the district.

Smokefree touchlines mean that members and any visitors to youth and children’s rugby matches are asked to refrain from smoking or vaping on the sidelines/touch lines, matches or anywhere in view of children. Vaping is included in the smokefree touchlines initiative to help guard against young people taking up vaping.

The Smokefree Touchline initiative aims to:

  • promote a rugby club as a healthy and inclusive place to be where the wellbeing of all, and in particular children and young people, is a priority

  • support all adults who are involved in youth rugby in Wakefield to understand their responsibility as positive role models

The ambition in Wakefield is for all young people’s sports clubs to be Smokefree. We will be initially piloting the initiative with Sharlston Rugby Club (Trinity Ambassador Club). It will then evaluate this with the hope of rolling out the programme wider across Wakefield in the future. 

Illegal Tobacco

Cheap and Illegal Tobacco – What is it?

People often assume that cheap tobacco sold locally is duty free – but in fact, illegal tobacco comes in many different forms. Illegal tobacco products can be in the form of cigarettes, hand rolling tobacco or products such as Shisha.

  • illicit whites – brands which have no legal market in the UK, often from Eastern Europe

  • non-UK duty paid – genuine UK brands brought into the country and sold without duty being paid

  • counterfeit – illegally manufactured and made to look like recognised brands

Illegal Tobacco Impact on health

The sale of illegal tobacco seriously undermines the impact of other tobacco control measures. West Yorkshire has numerous 'hot spots' for the illegal sale of tobacco. In the UK, progress has been made to reduce smoking rates to their lowest level yet.

However, the existence of an illegal trade in tobacco products still reduces the effect of tobacco control, such as:

  • illegal tobacco is often a cheaper price, undermining the effectiveness of taxation.
    • this makes it harder for smokers to quit cheap tobacco makes it easier for non smokers to start and ex-smokers to relapse

  • illegal tobacco is available in some communities, making it easier to bypass age restrictions
    • this enables children to start smoking and become addicted at a young age

Illegal tobacco makes it easier for children to start smoking and hinders adults from quitting. It is connected to organised crime involving drug dealing, human trafficking, and money laundering.

Children and young smokers are often targeted by people who sell illegal cigarettes who do not care who they sell to.

Tackling illegal tobacco

West Yorkshire Trading Standards handles enforcing laws against cheap and illegal tobacco products.

The Tackling Illicit Tobacco for Better Health Programme was funded by five local authorities. It was established in April 2014 to address illegal tobacco in the region. This program aims to raise awareness and conduct enforcement actions with the support of West Yorkshire Trading Standards.

The use of sniffer dogs has been effective in uncovering hidden illegal cigarettes.

Since the program began, the collaborative efforts have resulted in the seizure of over 10 million illicit cigarettes and three tonnes of illicit hand rolling tobacco in West Yorkshire.

Do you know where illegal tobacco is being sold?

To report illegal tobacco sales in confidence, call the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 0808 223 1133. Help stop the harm in your community!

Contact Us

Public Health Wakefield Council Wakefield One PO Box 700 Wakefield WF1 2EB

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