New signs outside Luton's The Mall to encourage people to give up smoking
The new signs were unveiled outside the Mall's entrance in St George's Square, an area where smokers were often seen to gather.
More new signs and floor art will appear outside other Mall entrances over the coming days as part of town-wide campaign to support people to give up smoking and reduce the harm caused by second-hand smoke.
The joint initiative between - The Mall, Luton Borough Council and Total Wellbeing Luton - will see new artwork appear at entrances which thanks people for not smoking in these busy areas and signposts to support they can access.
A key driver for the initiative is the fact that people could be getting exposed to second-hand smoke as they enter the building, no matter how careful the person smoking thinks they are being.
Roy Greening, general manager of The Mall, said: “We are wholly supportive of the creation of smoke free entrances here at The Mall. The initiative will make visiting the centre more comfortable and safer for everyone, especially children, without the potential danger of inhaling second hand smoke.
"Supporting our community in living well is one of our priorities, and we are pleased to be able to work with Luton Council and Total Wellbeing Luton on this important project."
Cllr Khtija Malik, portfolio holder for public health, said: “While most people don’t smoke, and most of those who do say they want to quit, it is still the leading cause of preventable illness and premature death in England.
“As smoking is an addiction for most people rather than a lifestyle choice, it’s absolutely right that we don’t stigmatise which is why a critical element of this campaign is ensuring we are signposting to effective support and interventions to help people to give up. At the same time everyone has a right to not be exposed to second-hand smoke when they enter the building.
“A key part of the town’s Luton 2040 vision is giving every child the opportunity to live a healthy life. Part of this is creating a smoke-free generation by ensuring our young people are less exposed to people smoking and the initiative follows the recent announcement of smoke free play areas within council parks.”
The council commissions the Total Wellbeing Luton service who offer specialist stop smoking advice to help support smokers quit and live healthier lifestyles. They also offer a free 12-week programme which includes:
> Nicotine replacement therapy;
> Electronic cigarettes;
> Stop smoking medication;
> Expert support and online groups for motivation.
A smoker is four times more likely to quit with expert advice and support so get in touch to start feeling the benefits and stop smoking for good. For more information call 0300 555 4152, text TWL to 60066 or visit www.TotalWellbeingLuton.org