All posts by Jo Chambers

New helpline service supports Londoners to quit smoking

A new Stop Smoking London Helpline service, proudly funded and supported by 30 London Boroughs, has been launched by the Association of Directors of Public Health (ADPH) London. It forms part of an initiative aimed at finding new ways to help smokers in London who want to quit and has been developed as part of the Stop Smoking Plus model by Professor Robert West of University College London.

The helpline provides a convenient way for Londoners to access good quality, specialist advice on how to quit smoking. It’s also a gateway to finding out more about the range of free and varied support available across the capital.

Trained advisers will work with smokers to understand their habit and signpost them to help in their local area, or offer them the opportunity of telephone-based support if they qualify.

Somen Banerjee, Director of Public Health at Tower Hamlets Council and smoking cessation lead for ADPH London, said: “The aim of the Stop Smoking London helpline is to provide a convenient way for Londoners to get access to high-quality, specialist advice on how to quit smoking. Telephone-based support fits well into people’s busy lifestyles, and is perfect if you’ve always wanted to stop smoking, but aren’t sure how, need regular motivation or someone to give you tips and advice about willpower and other issues associated with quitting.

“If you’re a smoker who wants to kick the habit, you’re not alone. We know there are around 1.3 million smokers in London and roughly one in three of you want to give up. And it’s highly likely that you’ve tried to at least once already. If this is you, don’t let this dishearten you – you can succeed at quitting, and research tells us that you’re much more likely to with the right support.”

Cllr Kevin Davis, London Councils’ Executive member for health, said: “Boroughs are committed to playing their part in improving the health and wellbeing of Londoners. The introduction of this smoking cessation phone line will bring us one step closer to a cigarette-free capital.

“This solution to accessing services demonstrates our commitment to seek innovative ways to develop an alternative response for people to access help, whilst also taking into account the daily pressures of busy life in the capital.”

Smokers can call the local rate number seven days a week – Monday to Fridays from 9am to 8pm and on Saturday and Sunday between 11am and 4pm. For more information about the range of support available for smokers, they can visit

They will be able to speak to a professionally trained advisor to find out what support is available in their area and establish which quit methods will work best, from different types of medication, to mobile apps and specialist programmes.

If smokers live in a participating borough, they will be able to get support from a specialist advisor offering regular one-to-one support over the phone. This means they will be able to arrange call backs at regular intervals throughout their quit attempt.

According to official figures from the Annual Population Survey (Local Tobacco Control Profiles) smoking prevalence in London was 15.2% in 2016, and declining at a rate of 3 percentage points every 4 years which would put prevalence below the target of 5% by 2030.

Stop Smoking London has been developed through the London Smoking Cessation Transformation Programme, which aims to help people in London to stop smoking. It is funded by 30 London boroughs and commissioned by the London Association of Directors of Public Health (ADPH).


London HIV Prevention Programme launches “Do it with a condom” campaign

On 2 January 2017, the London HIV Prevention Programme (LHPP) launched another new campaign – the fourth in just 18 months –focusing on safer sex and condom use. Called “Do it with a condom”, it builds on a successful summer drive promoting HIV testing across London and uses the evidence gathered during evaluation of that campaign in relation to key drivers of behaviour change among our most vulnerable populations.

The new campaign reminds Londoners that, whilst testing is crucial, condoms still play a critical role in providing protection against rising sexually transmitted infections. Between 2011 and 2015, gonorrhoea diagnoses rose by 123% in London (210% among men who have sex with men (MSM)); syphilis went up by 103% in the same period (123% among MSM). Evidence shows that condomless sex is a major factor in sharp rises of all STIs, which is why the LHPP is broadening its scope to focus on this related issue.

The new campaign expands previous advertising to 30 different channels to communicate core messages to our audiences. These range from several digital methods to out of home advertising on London’s transport network, including:

• An updated  website, with information on sexual health and signposting to a sexual health clinic finder
• @DoItLDN (our Twitter account)
• DoItLDN (our Facebook page)
• Out of home advertising across tubes, tube stations, buses and phone kiosks
• Advertising in bars and clubs in London
• Print media advertising and editorial
• Radio advertising and editorial through a partnership with a leading station
• Pay-per-click advertising via Google Search
• Digital, mobile and tablet advertising across websites used by our target groups – men who have sex with men and London’s African communities.

Consultation response – A City for all Londoners

London Healthier High Streets network has published its response to the Mayor of London’s consultation on his vision, A City for all Londoners.

London Healthier High Streets is sponsored by ADPH London and is a public health network for London boroughs working with town planning, licensing, trading standards & environmental health to promote healthier town centres & high streets.

The response welcomes the Mayor’s recognition that London can be a much healthier city and that health inequalities remain a pressing issue. The response advocates that supporting people to make healthier choices and creating a healthier physical environment must be an essential aspect of the London approach.

City for all Londoners – London Healthier High Streets response, 9 Dec 2016

Air quality consultation

ADPH London and London Environment Directors Network (LEDnet) have issued a joint response to the second stage of the Mayor of London’s Air Quality consultation.  Using our collective voice, we are urging for speed of action, London wide solutions to avoid shifting air quality problems to the peripheries of Ultra Low Emission Zones (ULEZs), controlling  the cumulative effect of developments and realising the wider co-benefits for health and the environment.

ADPH London and LEDnet joint AQ Consultation response Dec 2016

Dr Jonathan Hildebrand

It is with great sadness that we inform you that Dr Jonathan Hildebrand passed away at the end of November. Jonathan was the DPH for Kingston upon Thames, Vice Chair of ADPH London, and a Council member of ADPH UK.

On behalf of all of us at ADPH London, we extend our deepest condolences to his family and friends.