Towards a smoke-free generation: tobacco control plan for England

The UK Department of Health have today published “Towards a Smokefree Generation: a Tobacco Control Plan for England“, with the aim of cutting smoking rates to 12% of the population by 2022.

Although smoking rates in England are currently at the lowest level since records began, officials say that smoking currently kills 200 people a day.

The plan states that “The best thing a smoker can do for their health is to quit smoking. However, the evidence is increasingly clear that e-cigarettes are significantly less harmful to health than smoking tobacco. The government will seek to support consumers in stopping smoking and adopting the use of less harmful nicotine products.”

It also says that

  • DH (Department of Health) will monitor the impact of regulation and policy on e-cigarettes and novel tobacco products in England, including evidence on safety, uptake, health impact and effectiveness of these products as smoking cessation aids to inform our actions on regulating their use.
  • PHE (Public Health England) will update their evidence report on e-cigarettes and other novel nicotine delivery systems annually until the end of the Parliament in 2022 and will include within quit smoking campaigns messages about the relative safety of e-cigarettes.
  • PHE will continue to provide smokers and the public with clear, evidence based and accurate information on the relative harm of nicotine, e-cigarettes, other nicotine delivery systems and smoked tobacco, to enable informed decision-making. This will include the publication of an assessment of the risks of nicotine addiction.