New figures reveal hundreds of thousands of children regularly exposed to second-hand smoke in a car


New figures released by the British Lung Foundation (BLF) that show around 185,000 children between the ages of 11-15 in England are exposed to potentially toxic concentrations of second-hand smoke in their family car every day or most days.

That’s the equivalent of more than 6,100 classrooms full of children.

Dr Paul Edmondson-Jones, Director of Health and Wellbeing at City of York Council said:


Alcohol in York


York is supporting this year’s Alcohol Awareness Week which is taking place from 18 to 22 November.

Alcohol has an important role in many people’s social lives but it is easy to underestimate how much or how often we are drinking, and that it is causing harm to ourselves and others.Local statistics for York suggest that 20% of people who drink alcohol in the city are drinking in ways that put their health at risk.

In 2010/11 in York, more than 3,000 people were admitted to hospital for alcohol-related illnesses (Local Alcohol Profiles for England, calculated from indicators 10 and 11), and an estimated 18,000 attended A&E (estimate from Alcohol Concern’s alcohol harm map


The cost to the city’s health services due to alcohol misuse alone is estimated at £58 per adult resident (alcohol concern alcohol harm map as above.)

Alcohol misuse can also fuel violent crime: in 2010/11 there were estimated to be four violent crimes attributable to alcohol for every 1,000 people in York (local alcohol profile as above indicator 16).

Estimates of the number of people who binge drink is above the national average (local area alcohol profile indicator 24.)

Hundreds in York could add years to their lives

More than 750 people in York joined a quarter of a million people across the nation in turning their back on cigarettes this month in the mass 28-day stop smoking challenge, Stoptober.


Research shows that stopping smoking for 28 days can extend your life by up to one week if you remain smokefree.  The new ex-smokers from York are therefore celebrating their first steps towards a healthier, smokefreelife, and if they succeed in quitting for good, they could collectively add more than 14 years of life to the city’s population.

Taking part in Stoptober has reaped additional benefits:

·The average smoker has 13 cigarettes a day, which equates to 364 cigarettes every four weeks.  Stoptober would have saved them £141 each over four weeks and if they remain smokefree they could save £423 by Christmas and £1,696 in a year. 

Collectively, if all Stoptober participants in York quit for the 28 days this month they would have saved £106,314.

·With the average cigarette taking approximately four minutes to smoke [5], this Stoptober could have saved the average smoker over 24 hours by not smoking; and cumulatively the nation’s Stoptober participants would have gained over 680 years in spare time.


Be alert to the symptoms of bladder and kidney cancers

City of York Council is supporting the NHS Be Clear on Cancer ‘Blood in Pee’ campaign.

The campaign will run from 15 October to 20 November 2013 across England. The campaign aims to raise awareness of the key symptom common to both bladder and kidney cancer – blood in pee – and encourage those with this symptom, even if it’s ‘just the once’, to see their doctor straight away. If bladder and kidney cancers are diagnosed early they are more treatable.

Adverts will appear on national TV, radio and in the press.

Around 65 people in York (1774 people in Yorkshire and Humber) are diagnosed with bladder or kidney cancer each year and these cancers account for around 7,500 deaths per year across the country.


Walk to School Week

walking bus 2

Walk to School Week that is taking place from 7 -11 October.

27 schools will by vying for the coveted Jack Archer trophy which will be on offer to the school that gets the most pupils walking, cycling and scooting.

To celebrate the tenth anniversary of the Jack Archer Trophy the council will be matching Age UK’s prize of £200, giving the winning school £400 to spend on sports equipment. The runners up will receive £200 for sports equipment and third place will win hi-viz jackets for their class.

On Wednesday 9 October there will be a bonus prize given to the school with the most people who ride a scooter to school. The prize is a Scooter Pod for the school which is worth £300.

Walking to school has many benefits, helping both the environment and health. Children who walk to school are proven to be more alert in lessons, parents too at work. A 15 minute walk will provide a child with a quarter of the 60 minutes of recommended daily exercise.

To find out more about changing the way you travel in York go to

Over 30 sports and fitness opportunities at Just 30 Fair on Saturday!

York’s sixth annual family fitness day will be getting everyone up and active at Rowntree Park on Saturday 21 September from 12noon to 5pm. The Just 30 Fair aims to inspire people of all ages to try new sports and fitness activities and discover more of what’s available in York.

The Just 30 Fair is set up to encourage everyone to do just 30 minutes exercise every day for a happier, healthier lifestyle. If you would like to find out more about how to get fitter and more fabulous, then this event is for you! We’ve invited over 30 sports clubs, leisure facilities, organisations, gyms and individual tutors and coaches to advise you and give out information: whatever your interests, abilities or levels of fitness there will be something to help get you up and more active. They’re all there to welcome and encourage you do Just 30!

Most organisations will be staging try-it sessions, demonstrations and mini-games to join in. Professional sports clubs like York City FC will be there alongside community clubs offering sub-aqua, aikido, bowls, volleyball, dance, yoga, running, boxing, kendo, Nordic walking, zumba and tennis.
Just 30
For the first time, basketball, wheelchair basketball, and hula hooping will be part of the Fair this year, offering everyone the chance to have a go.

While limbering up for their race, are the mascots from the city clubs! Yorkie from York FC, Ronnie Rhino from the Leeds Rhinos, and Kernal, Fluffy and Donut from York Maze will challenging last year’s winner Snappy Crock from SNAPPY in a hilarious race of the sporting mascots. The race starts at 2pm

For further information about the Just 30 Fair visit or call Neil Gulliver from City of York Council on 01904 553377 or email

Gas levels near Newbury Avenue to be investigated

The City of York Council’s environmental protection unit has completed its investigation of the former refuse tips off Foxwood Lane (comprising Acorn Rugby Club, the playing fields off Foxwood Lane and Hob Moor) last year.

In late August / early September 2012, soil and water samples were collected from across the site and sent for laboratory analysis. The waste material buried onsite was found to contain ash and clinker, brick fragments, glass, ceramics, fabric, coal, metal and timber.

Monitoring wells were also installed around the edges of the site to enable the Council to monitor ground gas.

The Council said, “The laboratory analysis results confirmed that the majority of the soil and water samples were uncontaminated. Some elevated levels of contaminants were detected – but a detailed risk assessment has confirmed that these levels do not pose a risk to people, animals or the environment.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Ground gas was monitored on a monthly basis between September 2012 and March 2013. The ground gas concentrations and flows were found to be low in most monitoring wells. Although elevated levels of methane and carbon dioxide were found on part of Hob Moor (to the rear of Newbury Avenue) and we intend to investigate this area further.

Please note that the site has not been determined as contaminated land (under Part 2A of the Environmental Protection Act 1990), but further investigation is required in the vicinity of Newbury Avenue”.

The environmental protection unit has now confirmed that it has received a government grant of £35,000 to undertake an additional investigation in the vicinity of Newbury Avenue.

The investigation will involve installing gas monitoring wells in a number of gardens and monitoring the external airbricks of eight properties. They will test the gas levels every two weeks for up to six months, to assess whether the gas levels pose a risk to people, property or the environment.

Residents are being notified of the plans this Friday (6 September). A drop-in session is being held at the Gateway Centre between 10am and 12pm on Monday (9 September) to answer resident’s queries.

The answers to frequently asked questions can be found by clicking here.

Ironically the worst affected area appears to be the site selected by the Council on which to build a block of 9 new Council flats!