UWE enhances student and staff health with smoke-free clinic

Issue date: 08 March 2012

UWE is supporting staff and students to cut down and give up smoking in a new partnership with NHS Smokefree Bristol and South Gloucestershire. UWE's health promotion strategy includes the introduction of a new smoke-free clinic which will be launched on Monday 12 March. The new clinic is based on successful models run by the NHS, which allow people to find the help and support they need in a straightforward and accessible way.

During the opening week (12 - 16 March) a drop in will be held everyday at the main reception on Frenchay Campus. The first session that students and staff attend will last approximately 20 minutes followed by a 10 minute session each week thereafter. It will give staff and students the opportunity to access advice about quitting smoking from trained volunteers and vouchers which can be exchanged for Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) at most Bristol or South Gloucester pharmacies. The clinic allows people to find the help and support they need in a straightforward and accessible way.

Judy Orme, Chair of UWE's Healthy University Group said, “As part of the Healthy University initiative, the important principle underpinning the new Smoking Strategy is that we are committed to creating smokefree campuses with designated smoking areas and to giving students and staff the support they need if they want to cut down or give up smoking. We want to make sure that UWE supports a healthy and sustainable environment for its staff, students and visitors, and these initiatives will help us work towards this goal.”

This is also a great volunteering opportunity for staff and students, we provide training for smoking advisors in order to facilitate the clinic, give out prescriptions for Nicotine Replacement Therapy and facilitate counselling sessions. If you would like to know more about please email Kim Allen. Volunteering for this service could give students great experience for final year health or psychology projects.

Wendy Parker, the NHS Smokefree coordinator commented that “This is an excellent example of partnership working between the University, the NHS, staff and students and is giving a clear message about smoking and its detrimental effect on health and the environment. The time spent at University is a time during which students will experiment and try out new experiences, smoking is one of these but it is not one to be encouraged. By taking this approach the University is showing they do not support the smoking culture, but are willing to offer help and advice to smokers wishing to quit.'

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