Huge survey reveals most people in Trafford support bold ambition to Make Smoking History for future generations

People in Trafford have got behind a move to get rid of smoking in our local communities once and for all, giving clear backing to initiatives like a smoking ban in children’s playgrounds and near school gates.

With the shocking statistic that 4,500 people die in Greater Manchester from smoking-related illness every year, and the equivalent of a classroom full of children are still starting to smoke every day, Trafford people have said enough is enough.

Results from the recent ‘History Makers’ consultation show that the majority of people – in Trafford and beyond – are fed up with tobacco companies making huge profits from a drug that kills one in two people.

Launched by Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, in February of this year, History Makers – the biggest ever survey of its kind – found that most people in Trafford support the creation of permanent outdoor smokefree zones and would like to see tobacco licensed in the same way that alcohol is.

Overall, four out of five people across Greater Manchester wanted to protect children from smoking’s harmful effects, and said they were worried about the harm caused by second-hand smoking.

History Makers consultation results reveal:

  • In Trafford there is a smoking rate of 12.7%
  • Overall 82.8% of people in Trafford want to ‘Make Smoking History’
  • 80.8% people in Trafford want to extend smokefree outdoor spaces, with most (53%)‘strongly’ agreeing
  • More than 90% of people across Greater Manchester want to extend smokefree spaces around school and nursery entrances, as well as in playgrounds
  • 82% in Greater Manchester want smokefree hospital grounds and 79% want any building entrance and exit to be smokefree
  • 83% in Greater Manchester agree that people who smoke should be supported to quit and warned about the dangers of smoking
  • 83.7% of people in Trafford agree that tobacco should be licensed

The massive support for smokefree spaces – largely to protect children and the environment – has shaped this year’s Smokefree Summer programme, featuring outdoor events across all ten local authorities. This included Flixton Festival on 26 August where the Smokefree Summer street team engaged with attendees to gather their 104 survey responses to find out their opinions on smokefree events and smokefree spaces.

Longer-term, History Makers findings will guide leaders on next steps as Greater Manchester aims to make reality its ambition of Making Smoking History within a generation.

Leigh Webber, a cancer survivor and former smoker from Trafford, said: “I am excited by the level of support the people of Greater Manchester have expressed for Making Smoking History and smokefree outdoor spaces

“We need to really pull together to prevent any young person from taking up smoking and provide whatever is needed to help smokers to quit for good. I urge anyone still smoking to seek help.”

Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, said: “We’ve already come a long way in cutting rates of smoking in Greater Manchester, and in many places smoking is no longer the norm.

“But we still have serious health and wealth gaps between communities, and also between the North and the South of the country. That’s why we are going further still with tackling smoking and working towards Making Smoking History.”

Sarah Price, Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership’s Director for Population Health, said: “Smokefree environments help everyone feel better. Even outside, there’s a risk from breathing in second-hand smoke, particularly for children. And with cigarette butts littering our outdoor areas, there’s also the environmental cost.

“We created the Smokefree Summer events to give people the smokefree spaces they’ve told us they want, while helping us to understand the way forward for more permanent smokefree zones.”

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Lacey Williamson

Lacey Williamson, aged six.