My Week

Tina Williams, deputy director of tobacco control and head of training, at the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation

Williams: dwarfed by an olympic rower
Williams: dwarfed by an olympic rower

Monday: I've never been a lover of mornings, and Monday is always the worst. I spent the weekend shopping with my daughter Natalie in the recently opened Liverpool One centre. It is fabulous and has really put the city on the shopping map; it's just a pity they don't sell new feet.

Tomorrow marks the opening of our new head office - a 14,000 sq ft building at Wavertree Technology Park. There is a real buzz to the day as all our different departments set up stands and prepare to showcase their work. The tobacco control team is setting up an interactive health stand where visitors will be able to experience the journey of a smoker trying to quit.

Tuesday: We are delighted to find the building's opening being covered on breakfast television and followed up in many other news media as the day progresses. Duncan Bannatyne flies in to cut the ribbon. He's much more attractive and less scary than he seems on Dragons' Den, and I am delighted when he agrees to write an article for Look, our workplace health promotion magazine.

Other celebrity guests include Olympic gold medal-winning rower Peter Reed, who towers above me at six foot seven to my five foot four.

Wednesday: Tobacco issues have received a lot of press coverage since health secretary Alan Johnson's announcement that open displays of tobacco in shops will be phased out by 2013.

Today I am invited by the press to comment on the less impressive decision not to ban cigarette vending machines. Nearly one in five smokers aged 11 to 15 uses them to purchase cigarettes - that's 46,000 children.

Thursday: Up bright and early (well, not bright) to deliver training to pharmacists based in north Staffordshire, where we have been commissioned to manage a stop smoking service on behalf of the local primary care trust. Developing skills to help smokers quit is a key part of my role and brings me real pleasure. Today I meet a group of 20 pharmacists. I resolve to build their experiences into future training sessions.

Friday: As the new year gets under way, I find myself wondering what 2009 will bring. Tobacco seems likely to cause major challenges to public health for many years to come, so I'm sure it will be another busy one.

The Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation works towards defeating lung cancer by research, campaigning and education.

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