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FPH welcomes Government announcement on smoking

The Faculty of Public Health welcomes today’s announcement on proposed legislation which will eventually end tobacco sales in England.

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 reflect one of the 15 recommendations made in the Khan Review on Smokefree 2030 ambitions, and aligns well with previous Government commitments on additional funding for smoking cessation and enforcement on the sale of illicit tobacco and e-cigarettes to under-18’s.

Whilst there is still much more to be done if Government is to achieve Smokefree 2030 targets, today’s announcement is a significant step in the right direction.

We also welcome consideration on the complex problem of youth vaping, and urge consideration of packaging, sales displays, effective trading standards, and other means to stop young people from vaping.

President of the Faculty of Public Health Professor Kevin Fenton CBE said;

“The Faculty welcomes Government proposals which seek to address the immense harm caused by smoking to individuals, families, the NHS, and our economy.

Stopping people from smoking, and supporting those who already smoke to quit, are two of the most effective interventions we can make to improve people’s health.

The Faculty is keen to see all recommendations within the Khan Review implemented and urges Government to continue to go forward on action to reach Smokefree 2030 targets.”

Published 04 October 2023

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