22 Feb New Smoke Free Stadia Brief Intervention Pilot
Smoke Free Stadia Pilot to Run with Lancashire CCC and Saints RLFC
A new smoking cessation pilot project developed by the European Healthy Stadia Network and heart health charity Heart of Mersey is set to roll out this Spring at two of the North West’s most iconic stadia – Old Trafford Cricket Ground, home of Lancashire County Cricket Club, and Langtree Park, the brand new stadium of St Helens Rugby League Club. The project will utilise the expertise of tobacco control specialists within Heart of Mersey (parent charity of the European Healthy Stadia Network), and has kindly been supported by Pfizer.
The project’s main aim is to train stadia stewards in smoking cessation brief intervention techniques to engage fans on matchday who are interested in quitting. It is anticipated that there will be strong opportunities to speak to smokers at Old Trafford as smoking is still allowed in designated areas inside the stadium, whilst stewards will be able to engage with smokers on the approach to and outside Langtree Park. Stewards will be equipped with simple tips and advice on how to start reducing and stop smoking, and information on referral to local stop smoking services that will be supported by social marketing materials. In addition to training stewards for matchday activities, the project will also skill-up community coaches and key members of stadia staff to act as stop smoking champions within community projects and the stadium workforce.
A specialist brief interventions training package is currently being developed that will be informed through insight work with stadia staff and fans, whilst a social marketing campaign will be created to give the project a unifying campaign identity and provide targeted materials for use at stadia and community venues. The project is set to launch in late April to coincide with the early parts of both the cricket and rugby league seasons.
Speaking about the project and its potential, Matthew Philpott, Programme Lead for the European Healthy Stadia Network, said:
“We are very excited about working with Lancashire County Cricket Club and St Helens Rugby League Club on this innovative smokefree stadia project in association with Pfizer. Whilst the UK’s enclosed stadia have been subject to smokefree legislation since 2007, there are significant opportunities to engage fans on matchday who might be interested in reducing or quitting smoking, both outside and, in some cases, inside stadia. Sports stadia in the region offer an ideal setting to deliver brief interventions owing to the crossover between men attending live sports fixtures and the high number of males who smoke in the North West of England, whilst we hope this training will also translate to community and stadia workplace settings through stop smoking champions within the clubs.”
For more information please contact, Matthew Philpott:
+44 151 928 7820
This project is supported by Pfizer Limited