Brits call for smoking in films to
be stubbed out
AFTER a record night of success for British
talent at the Oscars, a new poll reveals a majority of us would like
to stub out smoking in films watched by children.
In a survey conducted by oral health charity the British Dental
Health Foundation, 67% said they thought films featuring actors
smoking should receive the highest classification rating, suitable
only for adults.
According to the British Board of Film Classification, rated-18
films currently allow scenes of drug-taking, provided 'the work
as a whole must not promote or encourage drug misuse'. The film
board makes no reference to smoking or alcohol misuse, 2 of the
leading risk factors for mouth cancer.
20% of people in the UK smoke, and the habit is still considered the
leading cause of mouth cancer. But while many of us are aware of the
damage that smoking does to our lungs, the danger to our mouths
remains relatively unknown. Smoking helps to transforms saliva into
a deadly cocktail that damages cells in the mouth and can turn them
cancerous. As alcohol aids the absorption of tobacco into the mouth,
those who smoke and drink to excess are up to 30 times more likely
to develop the disease.
Chief Executive of the British Dental Health Foundation, Dr Nigel
Carter OBE, urged the film board to consider its policy on films
depicting smoking. He said:- "The risks of smoking have
been well documented for many years, yet for many young people the
message still isn't getting through. Children see movie stars as
role models. If they are smoking, children are more likely to take
up the habit. The same applies to sports stars, people we see on
every day TV and even parents. By re-classifying films containing
smoking scenes, it could lead to a drop in the number of young
children taking up the habit. Tobacco use is still the leading cause
of mouth cancer, a disease that claims more lives than cervical and
testicular cancer combined. Through campaigns such as Mouth Cancer
Action Month in November and No Smoking Day on Wednesday 12 March,
it is vital people take the warnings about smoking on board. Mouth
cancer is the most severe outcome, but it can lead to many oral
health problems such as tooth staining, gum disease and tooth loss.
It is really important that everyone knows the warning signs for
mouth cancer. They include mouth ulcers which do not heal within
three weeks, red and white patches in the mouth and unusual lumps or
swellings in the mouth. Our message to everyone is 'If in doubt, get
and complaints down
COMPLIMENTS are up and
complaints are down at Liverpool City Council . The number of
people unhappy with services fell by 18% from April – September
2013, compared to the same period the previous year. The number
submitted through the Council 's Have Your Say scheme dropped from
2,330 to 1,904. And the number of compliments increased by 21% – up
to 502 from 414.
There has also been an increase in the number of complaints
responded to within the time limit, up from 65% to 71% for stage one
complaints and from 76% to 79% for those which go to stage 2.
The number of people satisfied or very satisfied with the way in
which their complaints were handled is down just 1% on last year, at
Mayor Joe Anderson said:- "We are a large organisation
providing essential services to our 465,000 residents and millions
of visitors. When we get things wrong we are absolutely committed to
investigating and doing what we can to put things right. I am
pleased that the overall trend of complaints is dropping. It
demonstrates we have a well-established procedure for investigating
complaints. But we can't be complacent and continue to work
hard to improve services and prevent complaints from occurring in
the first place."
The top 3 complaint areas were:-
Recycling/domestic collections – 426 against a backdrop of 11.4
million waste collections (23% down)
Taxi licensing – 241 against a backdrop of 7,669 drivers and
proprietors (no significant change)
Council tax – 217 against a backdrop of 342,000 bills issued (no
The figures will be considered at a meeting of the Overview and
Scrutiny Select Committee on 12 March 2014.
a warm glow
HUNDREDS of vulnerable
people in Liverpool were helped to keep warm and safe this winter
thanks to a scheme which provides emergency heating.
Local charity Dying to Keep Warm, which has raised money from
Liverpool churches and businesses, has partnered with theCity
Council 's Healthy Homes team to provide a range of help for
vulnerable patients who have a heating crisis, or who need help in
reducing risks in their homes.
Health and social care professionals refer patients without heating
or dangerous heating appliances for emergency heaters and cookers.
In addition, the Healthy Homes team has been provided with carbon
monoxide detectors which Riverside's Home Improvement Agency will
install free of charge to particular households the team identifies.
Dying to Keep Warm is run entirely by volunteers and provides all
the emergency safety provisions free of charge.
It was set up by Afroza Ahmed a NHS Occupational Therapist whose
elderly patients, suffering from dementia, often did not have any
form of heating or behaved extremely dangerously by, for example,
leaving the gas on.
Afroza contacted St Bridget and St Thomas Church who donated £5,000,
St Hilda's School and Rapid who donated replacement cookers and
Liverpool businesses such as James Rymer Solicitors and Waterstones
who donated significant sums of money.
This paid for 130 emergency oil filled radiators, five replacement
gas cookers with in-built gas cut off, 10 microwaves, and 100 carbon
monoxide detectors to be provided to the Liverpool Healthy Homes
team for distribution.
The charity also funds a Gas Safe registered engineer to install
lockable gas isolation valves to gas cookers and fires allowing only
carers to control the gas supply and reducing the risks of
accidental fires and gas explosions significantly.
Afroza said:- "I was so
disturbed when I heard of an 86 year old Liverpool World War II
veteran found dead sitting in front of a broken gas fire with his
coat and cap just after Christmas, I felt compelled to do more to
protect older people from the cold and gas risks. His carer
had identified that his gas fire was broken earlier that day but
there was no help available from services to keep him warm. I never
want his death to be in vain. With over 25,000 excess winter
deaths for over 75's, I started Dying to Keep Warm to offer
community workers a free emergency heating and gas safety service
when they come across an elderly or disabled person at high risk.
Protecting vulnerable people against the cold, gas leaks, carbon
monoxide poisoning and fires is paramount to protecting their health
and their safety. As a society we all need to help them more. I
would like to offer my deepest thanks all our partners and sponsors
for helping to save their lives"
Council lor Ann O'Byrne, Assistant Mayor and cabinet member for
housing said:- "This initiative between Dying to Keep Warm and
Healthy Homes is a fantastic practical example of the great work
being done in Liverpool to help protect the health, safety and
wellbeing of our vulnerable residents.
Despite central government cuts to vital front line services, it
shows how resilient Liverpool can be, demonstrating how those in our
society who can afford it are supporting those who most need it.
The interventions offer fantastic value for money as the appliances
are bought at cost - £30 for an emergency heater, for example. I
would stress however, to maintain this service, the charity will
require further funding and I would encourage any business or anyone
who would like to donate, to contact them via their
Peggy, aged 93, who lives alone and suffers from Alzheimer
disease, was found trying to dry her clothes dangerously close to a
halogen heater with a frayed wire. She had also been leaving her gas
cooker on accidently and not aware of the gas building up.
She was provided with an oil filled radiator to replace the
dangerous one, a lockable gas isolation switch on the cooker, and a
simple microwave and microwave dishes.
Peggy continues to live at home and warm up her own meals with the
The total cost of providing the heater and other equipment was
£287.60 with it all provided free of charge to Peggy.
Wilson is 78 years old and suffers from dementia. He lives with his
wife and decided to make a cup of tea for her when she left the
room. He placed an electric kettle on the gas stove and set it on
fire. He then tried to remove the burning kettle with oven gloves
and nearly set himself on fire. He was with his three-year-old
grandchild in the kitchen. The house was full of toxic smoke. His
wife put the kettle out. Wilson also has a habit of putting his
favourite metal teapot in the microwave causing sparks inside it.
Dying to Keep Warm provided a lockable gas isolation switch and a
lockable microwave costing £190, allowing Wilson to continue living
safely with his wife at home. They regularly mind their
grandchildren and there has been no further incidents of fire or gas