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1 November 2013, 06:08 | Updated: 1 November 2013, 06:16
Smokers who throw their butts down on the ground or from their cars can face an on-the-spot fine but a new programme in Ipswich could see them getting their money back if they go on a “pack in the fags” course.
The initiative comes into force Friday 1st November and is the brainchild of Livewell Suffolk and Ipswich Borough Council’s Environmental Health Team.
Borough Council Health and Wellbeing portfolio-holder Neil MacDonald said: “We hope this will help more people to give up smoking. It’s a bit like motorists who can save points from going on their licence by attending a safe driving course. Here, people who have been handed a fixed penalty notice for littering with butts can get a refund if they attend a course that will help them give up.”
Last year, 66 people in Ipswich were given penalties for dropping cigarette butts and a further 38 have been caught so far this year.
Live Well Suffolk is the new healthy lifestyles service commissioned by NHS Suffolk. It offers free help to those who are trying to get fitter and recently locally promoted the Stoptober campaign to encourage people to give up smoking.
Last year Livewell Suffolk helped 50% of smokers who came to them quit. Staff hope the new “money back” policy will enjoy similar success.