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Typhoo, McCain and Centrica – who between them employ more than 35,000 people - have today signed up to help their employees to quit smoking by providing workplace stop smoking services or encouraging them to go to appointments during working hours without losing any pay


In addition, the Co-operative has today unveiled a new individual pledge to encourage more people to become more physically active.

The pledges are part of the Government’s Responsibility Deal, which is working with business and charities to make changes to help make the population healthier. So far, 285 organisations have signed up to be part of the deal.

Companies are being encouraged to get their staff to use online tools such as NHS Lifecheck to help improve their health and well being. They will also be encouraging their employees to take part in more formal screening programmes.

The new pledges were launched at seminars where organisations involved in the Health at Work and Physical Activity networks of the Responsibility Deal got together with Health Ministers Lord Howe and Simon Burns to talk about their progress so far. More companies are expected to sign up to the pledges over the coming weeks.

Lord Howe said:

It’s really hard to stop smoking – people who want to quit need all the support they can get.

“Around 21 per cent of adults smoke – so an estimated 7,000 smokers work for Centrica, McCain and Typhoo. I’m really pleased these companies are going to help their employees quit and I hope that more will sign up to the pledge.

“We spend a big chunk of our lives at work so it makes sense that employers look after us as best they can. And it’s good business for them to have a healthy and happy workforce.”

Dame Carol Black, Chair of the Health at Work group said:

Each and every organisation on the Health at Work group has worked hard to bring the Responsibility Deal to life. I’m delighted we’re able to launch two new pledges today which will go even further to improving the health of employees.”

The Co-operative, which is already committed to inspiring young people to lead an active lifestyle, also launched a pledge with its partner Activate Sport – the UK’s leading sports and activity camps provider for children – committing, by 2012, to:

reach 20,000 young people through sports camps; and

double the number of camps to 500 across the UK.

Simon Burns, Minister of State for Health and Co-Chair of the Responsibility Deal Physical Activity Network, welcomed the new individual pledge from The Co-operative and Activate Sport. He said:

This pledge on behalf of The Co-operative and Activate Sport is a great example of a major retailer working in partnership to promote a range of sport and physical activity opportunities for children and young people.

“This is particularly important for those children and young people from disadvantaged backgrounds who often face a range of barriers to participate regularly in sport and physical activity.”

Fred Turok, Co-Chair of the Responsibility Deal, Physical Activity Network, said:

I am delighted that The Co-operative has moved so quickly in setting the standard for business by making a core commitment to the health of the nation, giving opportunities to young people to increase their physical activity levels through their partnership with Activate Sport.

“It is crucial that we improve the nation’s health through physical activity and embed exercise into the DNA of business and the community. I urge other businesses to follow this example and begin to think about their own commitments and role in improving the health of the nation.”

Source: DH

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Written by Scott Buckler   
Monday, 12 September 2011 13:38
Last Updated on Monday, 12 September 2011 13:40


+1 #-2 Diane Skidmore, Volunteer
Lambeth Community Health
This is great! If only the government would add their support to this kind of initiative - perhaps by following the example of the Danes and adding a tax to junk food. A government spokesman was recently on television saying that there is no evidence to support the fact that this might help - even though it is well known that taxing tobacco has helped many people to stop smoking. Our obesity problem is arguably worse than the smoking problem by now, so surely it is time that the government made some kind of an effort to promote health by encouraging healthier eating habits rather than by propping up marketing and sales. Healthy eating would lead to healthy minds and healthy people - ultimately leading to less expense for the NHS. In fact, we would have a healthier nation on every level. This is the way forward and actually, without some kind of move by the state, there is no chance for the massive change that is needed.

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