Advocating for a healthier North East

We make the case to the Government for positive impacts on health in the North East in the decisions it takes and the policies it makes.

The Association continues to work with colleagues from Balance, the regional alcohol office, and Fresh Smokefree North East in pressing for statutory and policy changes which support our efforts to protect our communities from the harms caused by smoking and alcohol misuse.

In September 2014 the Association worked with Balance to secure the support of our member councils for an open letter to be issued to the three main political parties as part of a national day of action on alcohol which took place on 5 September. The letter was based on the following three key evidenced policy asks:

•    introduce a minimum unit price for alcohol set at a minimum of 50p per unit;
•    take measures to protect our children from the influence of alcohol marketing, including an end to alcohol advertising in cinemas unless an 18 certificate film is being shown and a commitment to seriously consider the withdrawal of alcohol sponsorship from professional sport; and
•    review the licensing act, turning it into a strategic tool to be used by localities to minimise harm in their communities.

Following discussions with Leaders and Elected Mayors Fresh worked with ANEC in August 2014 to develop responses to two separate tobacco control consultations covering:

•    the introduction of regulations for standardised packaging of tobacco products; and
•    regulations on smoking in private vehicles carrying children.

The standardised packaging response approved by Leaders and Elected Mayors recognised the impact this will have in reducing the overall level of smoking generally but more importantly in the impact it will have on the uptake of smoking among young people. The response to smoking in private vehicles made clear our concerns about the impact of second-hand smoke on children and that the regulations were needed to protect them from this danger.

Links to the open letter and related press release as well as the tobacco control consultation responses are provide below.

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