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Get in touch with our policy team to find out more information about our work and our policies.

020 3469 8360

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Our Local Public Affairs and Campaigning team works with elected members and officers at local authorities across England on measures to help prevent cancer. Here you can find out about our work, information on our policy priorities and how we can support local authorities to beat cancer sooner.

Many functions and services that help prevent or diagnose cancer are being delivered locally – from Stop Smoking Services to the promotion of cancer screening. With recent studies showing that an individual’s lifetime risk of cancer is increasing, we need local action to prevent cancer and diagnose it sooner.

In recent years, we have provided additional support to Greater Manchester – to support the development of the Making Smoking History plan and the implementation of the Greater Manchester cancer plan, at a time when Greater Manchester has taken responsibility for its own £6bn health budget.

We are concerned that cuts to the public health grant, which funds vital public health functions, are having a detrimental effect on Local Government’s ability to prevent cancer. As a result, we are inviting councils to support calls for sustainable public health funding.

Our policy priorities

  • Maintain and prioritise funding for tobacco control
  • Make a public commitment to reducing smoking prevalence by signing the Local Government Declaration on Tobacco Control
  • Provide evidence-based Stop Smoking Services in your council
  • Host a coordinated tobacco control alliance to provide mass media campaigns and measures to target illicit trade 
  • Accelerate progress to reduce health inequalities 
  • Recognise the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control and eliminate tobacco industry interference in public health
We’re keen to work with Councillors and officers and provide them with the tools they need to keep cancer on the agenda. We can support with:
  • Briefings, speaking notes and policy advice.
  • Local visits to our shops, research centres or Cancer Awareness Roadshow.
  • One-to-one meetings and presentations for groups.
  • Political engagement to help build support for local tobacco control.
  • Assistance with press coverage around tobacco control activity
Smoking remains the largest preventable cause of cancer and premature death in the UK - killing more than 100,000 people a year. Cancer Research UK has an ambition for a tobacco-free UK by 2035, where less than 5% of the adult population smoke. Stopping smoking is the best thing an individual can do for their health; and supporting smokers to quit is the best thing a council can do to improve the health of residents.
 
Smokers are around three times more likely to quit with the help of a Stop Smoking Service, compared to quitting ‘cold turkey’. However, recent cuts to public health funding are making it difficult for local authorities to provide these services.  
 
Local authorities should take a strategic approach to reducing smoking rates by:
  • Developing a comprehensive tobacco control strategy that includes i) continued funding for tobacco control and ii) the provision of Stop Smoking Services in line with NICE guidance (NG92).
  • Collaborating with NHS colleagues to ensure smokers receive appropriate advice and referrals to help them quit.
  • Hosting a tobacco control alliance that provides mass media campaigns and measures that target the illicit tobacco trade.
  • Taking an evidence-based approach to e-cigarettes.

Useful Resources

Taking Local Action to Prevent Cancer

Local Tobacco Control Policy Statement

Summary of NICE (NG92) Guidelines

Economic Case for Local Investment in Tobacco Control

Tobacco Control Local Policy Statement

Briefing: Health Inequalities 

In November 2014, Greater Manchester became the first area in England to sign an historic devolution deal with Government, giving the region additional powers and greater accountability through an elected mayor.

As part of this devolution deal, the ten Greater Manchester boroughs now control health and social care spending - a budget of around £6 billion. Healthy lives, with quality care available for those that need it, is at the heart of the Greater Manchester approach.

Cancer Research UK continues to work closely with councils, the Combined Authority, health providers and other partners across Greater Manchester on improvements to cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment.

Making Smoking History: A Tobacco Free Greater Manchester

Cancer Research UK is calling on the Government to provide increased and sustainable funding for public health - to prevent ill health, reduce health inequalities and support a sustainable health and social care system.

Reductions in funding for the public health grant have had a significant impact on local health services. Research conducted by Action on Smoking and Health and Cancer Research UK shows that, following reductions to the Public Health Grant in 2015, 2016, and 2017, Stop Smoking Services were cut in 39%, 59% and 50% of local authorities respectively year-on-year. Now, 4 in 10 local authorities are not able to offer a stop smoking service for all smokers in their area. 

Taking funds away from services that prevent ill health is a false economy. Smoking, obesity and alcohol account for 80,000, 30,000 and 7,000 early deaths each year respectively; and smoking remains the single biggest cause of preventable cancer.

Councillors can support our calls by tabling the Notice of Motion below:

Notice of Motion

 

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