The age at which a person can legally buy cigarettes in England should increase by one year each year until someone can obtain them, a government commission review has found.
The plan would create a “smoke-free generation”, in which people under a certain age would be unable to purchase cigarettes and other tobacco products during their lifetime – similar to New Zealand Banned the sale of cigarettes to anyone born after 2008,
Raising the age at which people can purchase tobacco products, currently 18, is seen as critical to reaching the government’s ‘smoke-free 2030’ ambition – which is defined as less than 5% of the population smoking defined – but ministers are reportedly divided into plans.
What else does the review suggest?
- Increased investment in smoke-free policies
- promotion of vaping
- Better prevention in the NHS
Responding to the review, Health Secretary Sajid Javid said the government would “carefully consider” the recommendations set out in the delayed “historic review” by Barnardo’s former chief executive Dr Javed Khan, which was released this morning.
The report found that England is currently on track to miss its smoke-free 2030 target by “at least seven years”, something the poorest sectors of society may not meet until 2044.
“For any chance to achieve the smoke-free 2030 goal, we need to accelerate the rate of decline of smokers by 40%,” the report said.
The government has been urged to ban all online sales of tobacco products and prevent supermarkets from selling them to limit the availability of tobacco across the country.
Other recommendations include increasing investments by £125 million a year to reach the government’s 2030 target, which includes £70 million annually in services to help people stop smoking.
Dr. Khan’s report also recommended the promotion of vaping, including prescribed vapes, stating: “We know that vapes are not a ‘silver bullet’, nor are they entirely risk-averse. -free, but the alternative is far worse.”
Mr Javid said the government would also push forward several works on vaping as an alternative to smoking at an “appropriate time” in addition to publishing a new tobacco control plan.
The report also recommends that NHS smokers seek advice and support to quit “in every interaction they have with health services, whether through GPs, hospitals, psychiatrists, midwives, pharmacists, dentists or optometrists”. provides.
Reconsidering the way cigarette sticks and packets reduce their appeal, and a mass media campaign to encourage smokers to quit has also been suggested.
Currently, smoking costs the NHS £2.5 billion a year.
‘I urge the government to make smoking obsolete’
Dr. Khan wrote: “Smoking kills and ruins lives. But it doesn’t have to be.
“By commissioning this review, the government sent a powerful message that the status quo is not acceptable. I have accepted that challenge and responded with recommendations that are as broad as they are bold.
“Anything less would have been an abandonment of my duty. Now we need to make smoking as difficult as possible, and quitting as easy as possible, leading to a smoke-free generation.”
He continued: “To achieve a truly smoke-free society in this great country of ours, smoking must be made obsolete. I absolutely cannot support a strategy that is anything less.
“Therefore, I am asking the government to go beyond its current ambitions. It needs to move faster. It needs to be more courageous. It needs to be passed on to the generations to come from this highly addictive and deadly product. More needs to be done to save.Also, the government should do everything possible to stop the tobacco industry from selling tobacco products.
“The ambition to combat smoking should aim for a ‘net zero’ – making smoking obsolete.”
England has an estimated 6 million smokers, and 46% do not feel that the government is doing enough to limit smoking.
The report said that smoking remains the leading cause of preventable disease and death.