Effectively reaching routine and manual workers through 'One Stop Shop' workplace smoking cessation programme
Bernie Neeson Smoking Cessation Coordinator, Ulster Cancer Foundation, Belfast
The Ulster Cancer Foundation has provided a dedicated Stop Smoking Support Service funded by the Public Health Agency since October 2003. It delivers a quality support service to approximately 800 smokers annually across some of the most deprived wards in Northern Ireland. Since 2008 the service has developed a ‘One Stop Shop’ support service which includes provision of Pharmacotherapies along with behavioural support over a 12 week period. The aim of this programme is to reduce the prevalence of smoking among routine and manual and workers.
Smoking prevalence in Northern Ireland is currently 24%, however, the prevalence of smoking among unskilled Manual Workers is much higher at 36%.
The programme has consistently achieved high quit rates with 69% Quit Rate at 4 weeks for period 2010-2011 and 32% quit rate at 52 weeks based on those who set a quit date for the period 2009-2010.
Key Factors to the success of Workplace Programme:
• Flexibility: Design a programme which fits with organisations’ working patterns
• Accessible: Offer full support package to include NRT and behavioural support.
• Sustainability: Communicate rationale to encourage decision makers/management to buy into the service.
Bernie was a former smoker who availed of the UCF Smoking Cessation Service and then became a volunteer supporting other smokers to give up. She since trained as Smoking Cessation Specialist and studied Health Promotion with the University of Ulster and has been working in this field for past 10 years. She also studied a Postgraduate Diploma in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and works part time as a therapist in primary care settings.
Source of funding: Public Health Agency (Northern Ireland)