Local Trafford History Maker Is The Face Of New Campaign To Make Smoking History In Greater Manchester

Residents from Trafford are being given the chance to play their part in making history, as Greater Manchester bids to be the first place in the world to Make Smoking History within a decade.

Dr. Tahreema Aslam, from Trafford, wants to encourage the largest ever response to a public engagement about tobacco harm.

One in eight people still smoke in Trafford, and the two biggest killers in Trafford are heart disease and cancer, both closely linked to smoking.

People from Trafford are urged to have their say in a ‘History Makers’ survey at www.historymakersgm.co.uk.

Tahreema, 26, is a Junior Doctor with the Manchester University Foundation Trust, working between Manchester Royal Infirmary and Trafford General Hospital, and sees first-hand the devastating effects that smoking has on patients, their families and the NHS. Tahreema is choosing to front the new campaign as she passionately believes that all boroughs and communities to need to work together to make Trafford – and Greater Manchester – smokefree.

Tahreema said: “Working on hospital wards, and having an interest in Respiratory Medicine and Intensive Care, means I’m involved in the care of a lot of patients with illnesses where smoking is a major contributing factor, particularly COPD, heart disease and strokes.

“I want to help make a difference to the health of people in our community, and fronting this campaign means I can highlight the resources to stop smoking to patients before they become unwell, letting them know that there are things we can do to help.

“I’ve seen how hard it can be to quit, but I’ve also seen quite upsetting cases throughout medical school and work which colour my opinion a lot. It’s hard not to get emotionally attached to patients when you work so closely with them and their families. When smoking is inherently linked to a life changing illness one of your patients has, it obviously impacts your view on cigarettes.

“We need go out and talk to current smokers who want to or have tried to quit. I think we can only really go forward if we know what barriers people currently face and how we can help them overcome those barriers.”

People are being asked to give their views about the plan to radically cut adult smoking and deliver a tobacco free generation through a whole range of local actions, including extending smokefree places and licensing tobacco retailers.

The History Makers survey will also ask people to voice their opinion on whether tobacco companies should pay a ‘polluter levy’ for the devastation that their products cause to individuals, families and communities.

Tobacco Industry profits worldwide are greater than Coca Cola, McDonalds and Microsoft combined. Profit margins for the tobacco industry on cigarettes in the UK have been estimated at 68% compare to only 15-20% in most consumer staple industries. This is a highly profitable industry that should pay for the harm it causes to individuals and society.

Smoking remains a childhood addiction, with the vast majority of smokers starting as children and teenagers.

Sarah Price, Director of Population Health and the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership said: “While the numbers of young people taking up smoking has reduced drastically over the past ten years, we still have too many smoking and starting to smoke. We plan to deliver a tobacco-free generation with our communities.

“Smoking is everyone’s business. The harm from tobacco addiction affects our whole society, from the pain and suffering of individuals and their families to the preventable costs to the economy and public services.”

Trafford History Maker