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ADPH On Smokefree 2030

The UK Association of Directors of Public Health has spoken about the Government’s announced goal of making England Smokefree by 2030

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Ruth Tennant (Association of Directors of Public Health) and Hazel Cheeseman (Action on Smoking and Health) have added to the debate over the Government’s plan to make England Smokefree by 2030. Their contribution comes on behalf of the UK Association of Directors of Public Health.

The UK Association of Directors of Public Health is funded by annual corporate subscriptions from members’ employing organisations. The core purpose of the Association is independent advocacy for the health of the population and leadership for its improvement and protection.

In July it will be three years since the Government announced the goal of making England Smokefree by 2030. Despite the upheaval of the pandemic, we have continued to make progress to tackle the huge health impact of smoking,” Tennant and Cheeseman say.

But with half the difference in life expectancy between rich and poor caused by smoking, securing a smoke-free 2030 across society is vital to levelling up and reducing health disparities. Equally, the economic case to progress smoke-free is powerful with huge implications for NHS and social care spending from managing smoking related illness.”

With no single silver bullet, the duo believe that concerted effort and a properly coordinated approach is required to help people quit smoking, one that recognises the things that drive people to smoke.

Currently, they note, £70 million is spent annually by local authorities on stop smoking services. This in itself is a problem as they point out this figure has been dropping annually due to Government cutbacks. Additionally, not all of this funding goes directly to stopping smoking as a chunk is diverted to disrupting the counterfeit tobacco trade.

Along with local councils, who “have the connections and local links to reach deep into their communities with targeted messaging”, Tennant and Cheeseman believe the NHS has a key role to play.

The NHS is of course another key part of the jigsaw with £42 million of investment already coming on stream to support new treatment services in acute, mental health and maternity services and to help NHS staff to quit. Community pharmacies are also helping support smokers being discharged from hospital. If tackled with the same laser-sharp focus that is applied to other NHS priorities such as urgent and emergency care, this has enormous potential.”

They contend that there are “so many players on the field”, there is an important need for properly coordinated integration.

They talk about smokefree legislation, comprehensive ad bans, raising the age of sale, and standardised packaging – but not a single word about electronic cigarettes.

Instead, they propose “raising the age of sale from 18 to 21, and a proper licensing scheme for tobacco retailers” – and increasing funding.

The clock is ticking. This year more than 60,000 people will die from preventable smoking related diseases. More than a million people will have care needs caused by smoking. Over 400,000 households will be pushed into poverty because they include a smoker. With just eight years to go to achieve a Smokefree 2030, there’s no time to waste.”

There is no time to waste – so why isn’t the UK Association of Directors of Public Health speaking about vaping?


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Dave Cross

Journalist at POTV
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Dave is a freelance writer; with articles on music, motorbikes, football, pop-science, vaping and tobacco harm reduction in Sounds, Melody Maker, UBG, AWoL, Bike, When Saturday Comes, Vape News Magazine, and syndicated across the Johnston Press group. He was published in an anthology of “Greatest Football Writing”, but still believes this was a mistake. Dave contributes sketches to comedy shows and used to co-host a radio sketch show. He’s worked with numerous vape companies to develop content for their websites.

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