Headlines: October 30th, 2008

Two staff from Nottingham City Council have won an international award which recognises the work of health professionals in helping people to stop smoking. Libby Lomas and Rachel Lewis from the city’s Tobacco Control team were named winners of the European Smokefree Supporter Award 2008.

The pair faced competition from professionals in 10 other countries all of whom were assessed by the European Selection Panel in terms of innovation, dedication and inspiration. Kate Spicer, the European Smokefree Awards Project manager for QUIT said the judges had been particularly impressed by the Nottingham team’s innovative approach to getting smoke free messages across to people through their places of work.

Libby and Rachel were unable to travel to Amsterdam to collect their prize and received it instead at a special event at the Council House. The awards are run by the European Network of Quitlines, set up in 2000 to improve collaboration between countries providing Quitline services. Councillor Eunice Campbell, Nottingham’s Executive Member for Human Resources, Customer Services and Consultation praised the Tobacco Control Team and said the award was a testament to their hard work.

Libby Lomas said, “The smoking rate in Nottingham is higher than the national average which makes it a serious and challenging health issue to address and one that demands innovative thinking. I believe our ground breaking activities with workplaces in the Nottingham City area have proved an excellent way of reaching our adult target audience.” Rachel said their approach in supporting people to stop smoking had benefited employers as well as their staff.