It is well documented that smoking is the UK’s single greatest cause of preventable illness and early death, killing about 106,000 people a year. Deaths from coronary heart disease are around 60% higher in smokers and smoking remains the single biggest cause of cancer. In England, 21% of the population currently smoke, with 20.4% of Warrington residents responding in a recent survey that they smoke; suggesting that there are approximately 30,700 adult smokers in the borough. A reduction in smoking prevalence is therefore a key priority for improving the health of the community.

With this in mind, the innovative Warrington Smoke Free School award scheme was set up in 2006 and is a collaboration between Healthy Schools, Trading Standards and the Young Person’s Stop Smoking Service. Culcheth High School has worked hard to support the aims of the scheme by updating our Drug, Alcohol and Tobacco policy in line with government guidelines, improving the standard of Tobacco education within our Schemes of Work and increasing the opportunities for our students to access cessation services within the school.

Representatives from Warrington Borough Council’s Public Health Team, Livewire and School Health (Bridgewater Community NHS Trust) met recently to access Culcheth High School’s application for the Silver Smoke Free School’s award, which we are pleased to announce that we have achieved! Our application for the Gold Smoke Free School’s award is currently being reviewed – watch this space! If you would like further information on how to access local smoking cessation services or for further advice please visit: http://livewirewarrington.co.uk/lifestyle/stop-smoking