Creative Health (Arts and Health ) CIC Smokefree Arts Programme

Creative Health (Arts and Health ) CIC Smokefree Arts Programme

Since 2009, Dudley Stop Smoking Service and Creative Health CIC have developed the Dudley Stop Smoking Arts Programme.

  • To raise awareness of specific smoke free messages and support people to stop smoking.
  • To develop peoples’ assertiveness in talking about smoke free environments and/or to talk about their own experience of smoking.
  • To initiate discussion about issues associated with achieving smoke free environments and/or stopping smoking.

Bloomin’ (2013- to date): A social marketing project working with mothers who smoke to create branding and smokefree interventions.
Blossom 2015 : A ‘call-to-action’ campaign for families of young children aged 0-5, informing them of the dangers of second-hand smoke.
Dudley Kick Ash (2012- to date): Supporting young people in secondary schools and community settings to develop their own smoke free messages using the arts.
Straight Talking (2012- to date): Creative work delivered in Dudley and Wolverhampton Primary Schools supporting children to engage in conversations to make their lives smoke free.

The programme has received funding from Dudley Stop Smoking Service, Wolverhampton Public Health, Arts Council England, Arts Connect.

Description of the arts activity

Bloomin’:  A social marketing initiative, which developed creative approaches to facilitate conversations about smoking and implemented strategies to support pregnant women. Women participated in creative workshops and were targeted through a stand-up comedy routine about smoking in pregnancy at their local social club. One outcome, Bloomin’ magazine, contains real life stories of quit smoking experiences was distributed to 10,000 pregnant women in Dudley.

Blossom: A response to healthcare staff requests for 'icebreakers' to start conversations with parents about smoking around children. Artists collaborated with families to develop smoke free resources including a room thermometer and height chart (artist Richard Franks) and Fairy Freshness workshops (Sam Hale) in children’s centres creating car air fresheners raising awareness about the smoking in cars ban.

Dudley Kick Ash: A young person led grant programme developing projects using drama, music, sculpture and other art forms to explore all aspects of smoking and related issues. Young People are involved from grant allocation to project delivery.

The Straight Talking Film (directed by Gino Evans and produced by Brickhouse Productions) tells the story of schoolgirl and how she struggles to convince her family not to smoke around her family. The film was created with children, families and health professionals. Creative Health have developed additional resources including Puppet Power (art workshops led by Jim Morris for Year 3 about the smoking in cars ban) and Out in the Open (a school ‘stamp’ using outdoor art, showing that the school has pledged to keep children smokefree).

Details of the project participants

Bloomin’ worked with local pubs and social clubs to engage women who smoked when they were pregnant.

Blossom involved health professionals to explore how to engage new parents in conversations about smoking. Local women, contributed ideas about how they wanted messages presented.

Dudley Kick Ash targets young people throughout Dudley, particularly those in communities with higher smoking prevalence.  Strands of the programme have been developed to incorporate specific smoking messages.

599 Year 5/6 primary school children and 22 teachers from 12 Dudley Primary Schools took part Straight Talking The workshops took place in communities with higher smoking prevalence. In 2015-16, drama facilitators worked in an additional 40 primary schools raising awareness about the smoking ban in cars.

Project management

The Stop Smoking Arts Programme is a partnership between Creative Health CIC and Dudley Stop Smoking Service. The projects are part of the Dudley Stop Smoking Service's 'Smokefree Children' strategy, implemented by Creative Health and covering all ages from pre-birth to teens

Participation in all of the projects is voluntary and is free to all participants. Creative Health CIC has developed an evidence- informed, quality framework to analyse the quality of the work and the teams also ensure they fulfil standards set by Public Health England.

Bloomin' and Blossom were planned with NHS Dudley Stop Smoking (in Pregnancy) Service (DSS&P). DSS&P brought relevant health professionals together to manage the programme.

The Smokefree children project involved the Smokefree Children Project Lead and the Smoking in Pregnancy lead for NHS Dudley, and a headteacher to advise on links to the PHSE curriculum.

Kickash was developed with Dudley Youth Services and they have advised on enabling teenagers in schools and community settings to lead on spreading the smokefree message using the arts.

All evaluation work conducted by Staffordshire University required full ethics clearance and consent from every participant.

Evaluation methods and findings

Evidence from Dudley Stop Smoking Service indicates that smoking prevalence has declined and awareness of key stop smoking messages has increased since the introduction of the Stop Smoking Arts Programme. Dudley’s Director of Public Health Annual Report showcased the Stop Smoking Arts Programme as a successful intervention. Dudley Kick Ash and Smokefree Children (2012) were evaluated independently by Staffordshire University. Internal evaluations were conducted for Bloomin’ and Blossom.

Monitoring data collected by DSS&PS indicates that in 2011/12, 796 women were referred to DSS&PS (including repeat referrals) and during 2013/14 this increased to 970 women (including repeat referrals). Encouraging women to take a greater responsibility for actions is a fundamental principle underpinning the campaign such as meeting a Stop Smoking in Pregnancy Advisor,. Data from (2011-2014) shows an increase in the number of women accepting interviews. In 2011/12, 346 women accepted face to face visits and during 2013/14, this increased to 550 women. There was a 40% increase in women setting a quit date (during the period 2012/13 to 2013/14) and a 23% increase in women not smoking at 4 weeks.

Straight Talking evaluation findings identified in 2014 37% of children had reported that a family member or friend had stopped smoking or stopped smoking around them. In 2015 this figure was 38%

In 2011/12, DSSS reported a 33% increase in young people in Dudley under the age of 18 quitting smoking (measured at a four-week quit date) and a 47% increase in young people in Dudley between the ages of 18-24 quitting smoking (measured at a four-week quit date). During this period the only significant change to the services available to young people was the Kick Ash Programme.

Supported using public funding by the Arts Council England