18 January 2017

It’s now 20 years since The Full Monty’s unemployed steelworkers bumped and ground their way onto the big screen.

And now workers from Sheffield City Council have given a cheeky nod to the smash hit film with the new, hip-shimmying, “You Can Leave Your Patch On” video, set to a cover of Tom Jones’ classic tune.

Starring men who work in manual jobs across the authority, from parks through to highways and waste, the aim of the video, which is the centrepiece of a new council campaign, is to encourage men in this social group to stop smoking.

Councillor Mary Lea, cabinet member for culture, sport and leisure at Sheffield City Council, said: “Smoking is still the biggest killer, the biggest burden to public health and the biggest cause of health inequalities between rich and poor.

“And we know that smoking is particularly prevalent among men who work in ‘routine and manual’ jobs, such as shop workers, cleaners, gardeners, caterers, builders and street maintenance workers.

“That’s why we decided to make this video. It’s light-hearted, fun and distinctly Sheffield, with some familiar views in there including Kelham Island and Graves Park.

“But behind the jokes, the wry lyrics and the dancing, there’s a serious message here. Smoking kills and we want to get the message out there that it’s never too late to quit.”

The You Can Leave Your Patch On” campaign aims to help raise awareness of the benefits of stopping smoking and of the availability of local stop smoking services – through the medium of the light-hearted music video.

The campaign’s target audience is routine and manual working men, after research showed that workers in these jobs are twice as likely to smoke as those in managerial and professional roles.

It is estimated that 27.7 per cent of routine and manual workers smoke in Sheffield – the same as the England average for this group – compared to 18 per cent of the general population.

This group has also seen the slowest decline in smoking rates. Therefore, tackling these inequalities is a key challenge for Sheffield’s tobacco control programme.

Cllr Lea added: “Our research has shown us that routine and manual workers are as likely as other groups to want to stop smoking and try to quit – however they are not as successful as other groups in remaining smoke-free in the long term.

“We also know they are more likely to spend more money on smoking, and in some cases spend up to five times as much of their weekly household budget on smoking as richer smokers.

“So, in tackling these health inequalities in Sheffield, we thought the best thing to do was to get men from this group on board, and see if they could help us spread the word.”

Paul White, who works for Sheffield City Council’s parks and countryside service, was one of those who was filmed for the campaign video.

He said: “At first I didn’t know what the video would involve, but we all enjoyed taking part.

“It was a good laugh and, if we can help people to quit, then all the better.”

While good progress is being made on tackling tobacco, there are still around 79,200 people who smoke in Sheffield – and tobacco kills approximately 16 people a week in the city.

Approximately one in five adults in Sheffield smoke, and those who smoke can expect to have shorter, less healthy lives.

Research proves that people are four times more likely to quit with help from their local stop smoking service.

For further advice and information, visit www.sheffield.yorkshiresmokefree.nhs.uk