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FPH statement on government announcement on smoking and vaping

The Faculty of Public Health welcomes today’s announcement from Government on actions to tackle smoking and prevent youth vaping.

Despite progress, smoking remains the single greatest cause of health inequalities in the UK, driving death, disability, dementia and poverty across the whole population, but particularly in the most vulnerable groups where smoking rates remain stubbornly high.

Government proposals to annually raise the legal age of tobacco sale are a significant step towards addressing the immense harm caused by smoking to individuals, families, the NHS, and our economy.

Vaping is likely to be far less harmful than smoking and has been shown to be effective in helping adult smokers quit smoking. However, we have seen a worrying uptake of vaping amongst children.

Government must take action to prevent children from accessing nicotine products, and the Faculty supports measures to restrict products and advertising aimed at children and young people.

With five million disposable vapes discarded each week, the Faculty is also supportive of legislation which reduces waste and benefits our environment.

As the Bill is brought before Parliament we hope for urgent implementation of these policies, and for businesses and academia to work with Government to prevent children and young people who do not smoke from accessing nicotine products.

Published 29 January 2024

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