England 'on track' to stamp out smoking

From BBC - July 18, 2017

The government has set out an ambitious plan to make England, in effect, smoke-free in the next few decades.

The new Tobacco Control Plan aims to slash smoking rates from 15.5% to 12% of the population by 2022, paving the way to a smoke-free generation.

If national smoking rates continue to fall, this generation of non-smokers could be achieved by 2030, says charity Action on Smoking and Health (Ash).

Health officials say smoking currently kills 200 people a day in England.

Smoking rates in England are at the lowest level since records began.

But the Department of Health says there is still much further to go.

It has sets out a range of targets:

'Final push'

Commenting on the proposals, Deborah Arnott, the chief executive of Ash, said: "The vision of a smoke-free generation it sets out is a welcome step-change in ambition from the last Tobacco Control Plan for England and should be achievable by 2030."

But she warned that the success of the plan - which emphasises local over national action -was threatened by "severe government cuts in public health funding".

There is no new money to achieve this plan and no penalties for local areas that fail to meet the targets.

And smoking rates remain stubbornly high in some regions, particularly among the lowest earners.

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