Merton fights smoke with fire fighters

Merton Council and the fire brigade have joined forces to help smokers in the borough kick the habit once and for all.

Fire fighters from Wimbledon Fire Station

Fire fighters from Wimbledon Fire Station

All Merton fire fighters have now completed their NHS level one intervention training that allows them to signpost smokers to the LiveWell stop smoking service. Smoking is the primary cause of accidental fires and a major contributor to health inequalities.

Merton Fire Brigade conducts over 800 home safety visits each year and as part of this, with the added training it will improve the health and wellbeing of the residents concerned whilst also reducing the risk of fire. Using their new knowledge, they will be able to signpost residents to a free six-week programme to help them stop.

The stop smoking programme has been shown to help even the most hardened smokers quit

Cabinet member for adult social care and health, Councillor Linda Kirby said: “This is a great example of the success of the council taking responsibility for public health and making health everyone’s business. Smoking has a major impact on a person’s health and working with our colleagues in the Fire Service will help us spread the message that we have an excellent service ready to support residents to stop smoking.”

London Fire Brigade’s Merton Borough Commander Rick Ogden said: “We are pleased that our fire fighters are joining forces with Merton Council’s public health team to help those people who want to give up smoking, kick the habit. As well as being damaging to health, cigarettes are a primary cause of accidental fires in the home, making this partnership a great way to cut down on smoking in Merton.”