Agenda item

Public Health Update (Sac.08.04.2022/7)

Minutes:

Garreth Robinson, Senior Public Health Officer, was welcomed to the meeting and began the update by referring to the recent review of E-Cigarettes by Office of Health Improvement and Disparities. The seventh in a series, it considered all vaping products.  Members noted that smoking was the largest single risk factor which led to death and living in ill health in England and the role of alternative nicotine devices, such as vaping was acknowledged.

 

Members heard that Covid-19 was likely to have an impact on smoking and vaping, but this was not yet known. The government was set to review the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations in 2022, and a new Tobacco Control Plan for England was expected in Summer 2022.

 

Members were made aware of the findings of two surveys undertaken to understand the behaviours of young people.  Vaping and smoking prevalence looked to have stayed the same in recent years, however it was suggested that enforcement of sales needed to be improved and more research into the addictiveness of vaping products needed to be undertaken.

 

Surveys into adult behaviours showed that the proportion of long-term vapers was increasing and prevalence was higher in disadvantaged groups which mirrored the pattern of smoking. How best to communicate the evidence of relative harms needed to be considered to influence smokers with a view to them moving to quitting completely.

 

Questions were asked in relation to the link with schools and it was noted that the issue of young people smoking and vaping was discussed at each meeting of the Tobacco Control Alliance.

 

Members expressed concern about the numbers of young people taking up vaping who had never smoked, and the view that vaping was now seen as normal.  Consideration was being given to the enforcement of vaping material, but that this needed more central government support to reduce marketing aimed specifically at young people.

 

Questions were asked around the long-term impacts of vaping and it was acknowledged that it was less harmful than smoking, however long-term data on vaping would not be available in the short or medium term.

 

The link between unregulated sales and organised crime was noted, and it was suggested that there was an opportunity to access funding from the Police and Crime Commissioner for a project to address this.

 

Members went on to consider the Best Bar None scheme, which provided accreditation, supported by the Home Office, to improve standards in the evening and night time economy.  This led to benefits such as a reduction in crime and improvements in the relationship between licensed premises and the Council.

 

It was noted that the scheme had commenced in 2018 with 13 venues in the Town Centre taking part, and, although being paused in 2020, had expanded to 25 Town Centre venues and 9 Dearne Area venues in 2021.  It was acknowledged that the number of venues participating in 2021 was lower than originally anticipated, as many understandably decided to concentrate on their response to the pandemic.

 

Members were made aware of the arrangements to undertake the scheme, which included communication with the national scheme, training of assessors and recruiting licensed premises.  It was noted that the scheme concluded with an awards ceremony to celebrate success.

 

With regards to the Dearne Area and the pilot conducted in 2021, Members were made aware of the outcomes which included the accreditation of 9 venues and the training of 30 additional staff in first aid.  9 venues now had up to date safety records and 5 of the venues received an award.  Members were made aware of the costs to the Area Team to implement a similar scheme,  with the main cost being to train assessors (£600 for 20).

 

Members supported the initiative and suggested a number of venues in the area which may wish to be part of a similar pilot.  Noted were the added benefits of licensed premises having a positive relationship with the Council, which helped to raise standards and reduce the need for enforcement.  It was suggested that a future meeting could consider funding a pilot in the South Area.

 

RESOLVED:-

(i)           That thanks be given for the update; and

(ii)          That a future meeting of the Area Council considers a pilot of the Best Bar None scheme in the South Area.

Supporting documents: