Stop it and tidy up
01 October 2018
Volunteer litter-pickers spent the first day of ‘Stoptober’ collecting cigarette litter from around the entrances to Southend University Hospital to demonstrate the negative impact that casually discarded cigarette butts have on our environment.
'Stoptober' is a month long national campaign encouraging
smokers to quit the habit by offering comprehensive support to help
ditch the cigarettes. Southend University Hospital teamed up
with Southend on Sea Borough Council on 1 October to kick off the
month with support and advice for staff, patients and visitors at
an information stand at the old main entrance to the hospital.
Present on the day were Southend Hospital's smoking cessation
team and the team from Southend on Sea Borough Council, alongside
the Make Southend Sparkle team, whose mission is to encourage pride
and positive action to improve our local environment.
Helen Smith, COPD specialist nurse at the hospital, helped
coordinate the event: "Joining forces with our colleagues at
Southend-on-Sea Borough Council marked the start of Stoptober and
raised awareness of the support available to help our staff,
visitors and members of the public stop smoking for good."
Lots of cigarette butts were picked up on the day, making an
immediately noticeable and fantastic difference to the
Councillor Mark Flewitt, cabinet member for public protection
said, "Smoking isn't only harmful to our health, but it
contaminates the environment we live in too. The toxins from one
single cigarette butt can contaminate a litre of water. As today's
activity has shown, thousands of cigarette ends are dropped on our
streets every day, so I urge everyone to please use cigarette bins
or a pocket ashtray.
"Thank you to the team at Make Southend Sparkle for not only
clearing the cigarette ends from the area around the hospital
today, but for all their work across the town helping residents and
visitors make the town sparkle and a great place to live work and
visit. If the public would like to get involved with Make Southend
Sparkle, they would be grateful for your help. No experience is
required and there's no ongoing commitment necessary. Please visit
the Make Southend Sparkle Facebook Page."
With a cross section of staff and the public reached on the day,
the team were optimistic that the good work will continue
throughout Stoptober, and emphasised that support is easy to access
for anyone thinking of giving up smoking during this month or any
Councillor Lesley Salter, cabinet member for healthy communities
and wellbeing said, "We urge anyone considering quitting to take
the plunge, and to contact our stop smoking service on 01702
212000, which is free, friendly and supportive. We are determined
to see our vision of a smoke-free Southend as soon as we can and
would like to give anyone making the decision to quit smoking a
huge, supportive pat on the back."