Actions / Working with Communities project

Project Partners

The Working with Communities to Reduce Health Inequalities comprises several associate partners, all of whom are dedicated health professionals working in the field of prevention in their own countries. We herewith give a brief presentation of the partners in their own words.


Key project outcomes

The Working with Communities to Reduce Health Inequalities project has severable key deliverables and findings, which are presented hereafter. These outcomes and findings have all been tried and tested in cross-cultural contexts and proven to be effective in reducing children’s and young people’s exposure to tobacco smoke.

European project receiving funding from the European Union in the scope of the Public Health Programme

Working with Communities to Reduce Health Inequalities: Protecting Children and Young People from Tobacco

(2008 - 2010)

The damage to public health caused by tobacco consumption is considerable. Over 650,000 Europeans die every year because they smoke. 13 million more smokers suffer from serious, chronic diseases. Reducing smoking prevalence amongst young people is a priority.

It is also firmly established that exposure to second-hand smoke kills non-smokers and exacerbates illnesses. This has led to many countries introducing legislation to ban smoking indoors in workplaces and public places – including premises often used by young people. However, many children and young people continue to be exposed to second-hand smoke.

The Working with Communities Network’s initial activities suggest that addressing tobacco control issues that affect children and young people will be more effective when local communities and peer groups are involved in the solutions. They also indicate that protecting children from tobacco smoke by reducing smoking in homes is more likely to succeed where smoking is more widely banned. However, significant gaps remain in fully understanding the effectiveness of such interventions - there is generally a lack of evaluation or robust evidence of impact or health outcomes. Equally, there is little understanding of how community and peer group engagement methods might be transferable to different cultural contexts and where traditions of governance and public health service delivery differ.

Working with Communities to Reduce Health Inequalities: Protecting Children and Young People from Tobacco attempts to fill these important gaps. The project is co-ordinated by Liverpool Primary Care Trust and supported by a group of nine European associated partners.

Please refer to our regular project newsletters for details on the project’s progress.

Initial Scoping Exercise

A mapping exercise was carried out to develop an understanding of the scope and range of current activities taking place across Europe relevant to this action. This will involve identifying and engaging with programme and project leaders of potential partners.

Action Synopsis

30 May 2006

Working with Communities to Reduce Health Inequalities: Protecting Children and Young People from Tobacco

With development funding from SmokeFree Liverpool, this action aims to build a network of European partners who work together to address priority tobacco control issues. The initial stages of the activity focus on young people aged 16 to 21 years and children aged up to 5 years. The project aims to reduce the exposure of both groups to second-hand smoke and reduce smoking prevalence and the up-take of smoking amongst 16 to 21 year olds.

A series of themes shape the project’s agenda and activities. These include: 

- adopting a “settings” approach to tobacco control – key settings include homes, community centres, youth clubs, post-school education and training environments and prisons; 
- developing local partnerships and working with communities to achieve tobacco control; 
- identifying innovative approaches and good practices – this will include methods of analysis, types of actions, evaluation tools; 
- disseminating the project’s knowledge and influencing local, national and EU tobacco control agendas and policies.

The action held its inaugural meeting in Brussels on 23 May 2006.

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