Tuesday, 25 September 2012
On the eve of World Heart Day (28th September) local volunteers from Keep Wales Tidy and staff at three hospitals in North Wales will clean up the hospitals sites of cigarette butts to raise awareness of the dangers of smoking and the problem of smoking related litter in our communities.
Patch the dragon, mascot of the Fresh Start Wales campaign, will also be helping local children and volunteers to pick up cigarette stubs from the three main hospitals in North Wales, Ysbyty Gwynedd, Bangor, Wrexham Maelor, Wrexham and Glan Clwyd, Rhyl.
Andrew Jones, Executive Director of Public Health for Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board said:”One of the main contributors to heart disease and stroke is smoking.
“Despite the great reductions in smoking prevalence over the last few decades, smoking remains the largest single cause of avoidable ill health and early death in Wales.
“Today we will be taking the opportunity to remind everybody that all hospital grounds have been smoke-free since January 4th this year. This means that all staff, patients, visitors and contractors are required to not smoke on the grounds’’.
This year Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board will be supporting World Heart Day by having a stand at each of the three main acute sites with information and advice on offer for anybody who wants to quit. The Government has set ambitious targets aiming to reduce smoking prevalence from the current 24% to 16% of the Welsh population within 5 years.
The hospital litter pick comes at the end of the Welsh Government sponsored, Tidy Wales Week, where local people are encouraged to show how much they care for their local area by getting involved in hands-on, problem-solving action. Last year over 20,000 people of all ages did their bit to clean up their neighbourhoods. This week of action resulted in thousands of bags of litter being recovered by volunteers.
Lesley Jones, Chief Executive of Keep Wales Tidy, comments “122 tonnes of cigarette ends are dropped everyday across the UK –that’s about 200 million cigarettes. We hope that through cleaning up the hospital sites people working, visiting and patients of the hospitals will realise that it’s not acceptable to drop cigarette butts.”
Notes to Editors
September 29th 2012 has been designated as World Heart Day by the World Health Organisation and thousands of events will be organised on this day all over the world to help support the campaign.
World Heart Day was created to inform people around the globe that heart disease and stroke are the world’s leading cause of death - at least 80 percent of premature deaths from heart disease and stroke could be avoided if the main risk factors – which are tobacco, unhealthy diet and physical inactivity – are controlled.
This year the theme World Heart Day is ”One World, One Home, One Heart” - bringing the emphasis onhome heart health and focusing on CVD prevention among women and children.
As most of us spend over half our waking hours working, the workplace is ideal to promote heart-healthy messages and raise awareness about the risk factors for heart disease and stroke. A heart-healthy workplace encourages a healthy diet, physical activity and a smoke-free environment.
Fresh Start Campaign encourages people to pledge not to smoke in their cars. When you smoke in your car hundreds of toxic chemicals such as arsenic and carbon monoxide are blown into the air. Children and babies who breathe in these dangerous poisons are more likely to die from cot death, have chest problems such as asthma and bronchitis, more likely to get serious ear infections which can lead to hearing problems and die of cancer when they are older.For information on Fresh start Wales go to www.Freshstartwales.org.uk
For further information please contact,
Public Health Wales North Wales press officer
Ffôn/Tel: 01248 675890 email@example.com