ASH/Parliament Group report aims to direct the new UK tobacco and vaping legislation.
A new report on tobacco and vaping from Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) and the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Smoking and Health (APPG) seeks to influence government rules. It has been met enthusiastically by politicians and gives a good idea of how the rules will look in future.
The report was released on Wednesday 9th June and the APPG warned members of the Government that it can only build back better and fairer from the pandemic “by making smoking obsolete.”
The cross-party group is demanding the Government commits to taking actions to ensure it achieves its ambition of reaching the target of a Smokefree 2030.
They say that the tobacco industry “kills people for profit”. They add that tobacco addiction leads to premature death, creates and exacerbates poverty, and reduces life expectancy – and disproportionately impacts disadvantaged groups, “locking in poverty and poor health across the generations.”
The APPG report suggests:
- Tobacco companies pay to deliver an end to smoking through the funding of quit programmes
- Money to be made available to target the worst affected regions, especially to those in manual jobs, the unemployed, those in social housing, those with mental health conditions, and pregnant women
- Creating tougher tobacco regulations and raising the age of sale to 21
- To include electronic cigarettes in all quit service advice across the UK
- To combat the lies being spread about vaping
Bob Blackman MP (Chairman of the APPG, Harrow East, Conservative) said: “Our report sets out measures which will put us on track…to end smoking by 2030, but they can’t be delivered without funding. Tobacco manufacturers make extreme profits selling highly addictive, lethal products. The manufacturers have the money, they should be made to pay to end the epidemic.”
Bob Blackman has been making such calls for some time.
Professor Linda Bauld, Director of the SPECTRUM public health research consortium said: “The members of our academic consortium, SPECTRUM, are delighted that our research has helped provide the evidence base for the APPG’s recommendations to government for the next Tobacco Control Plan for England. Using research to prevent and address the harm caused by unhealthy commodities like tobacco by identifying and evaluating solutions, is our core mission.”
Ex-smoker Sue Mountain underwent laser treatment in 2012 after a biopsy revealed she had laryngeal cancer. Cancer returned in 2017 which required radiotherapy every day for four weeks. She told ASH: “I fully support the APPG report and urge the Government to accept its recommendations – we have a real opportunity to end the harm caused by tobacco once and for all.
“As a former smoker and cancer survivor, I’m one of the lucky ones. Smoking makes life a misery for many thousands of people every year who suffer from debilitating diseases before it kills them. It’s shocking that tobacco companies are making massive profits from an addiction that robs people of their lives and their health. I believe they should be made to pay for the damage they do.”
Professor Maggie Rae, President of the Faculty of Public Health commented: “Smoking remains the leading cause of health inequalities, responsible for half the difference in life expectancy between the richest and poorest in our communities.
“The Government can only live up to its pledge to transform the public’s health, while building back fairer, healthier and more resilient from COVD-19, by delivering on its ambition to make smoking obsolete. That’s why the Faculty of Public Health is endorsing the APPG’s report and recommendations which charts a clear route to a Smokefree 2030.”
The Faculty of Public Health is a strong supporter of the concept of tobacco harm reduction and smokers switching to safer products such as electronic cigarettes to continue to use nicotine.
Dr Charmaine Griffiths, Chief Executive of the British Heart Foundation said,
“Recent progress in reducing smoking rates must not lead to complacency in stopping the devastation it causes millions of families across the country. Smoking remains a leading cause of death from heart and circulatory diseases in the UK and it’s an addiction that disproportionately affects the poorest and most vulnerable in our society.
“As outlined in the APPG’s report, turning England into a smoke-free country by 2030 is achievable and we’ve made great strides. But to go further will require bold action such as putting health warnings on individual cigarettes, ensuring big tobacco takes responsibility for the harm its products cause and providing adequate funding for stop smoking services that save lives.”
The British Heart Foundation has also recognised the health benefits of switching to vapes because it is at least 95% safer than smoking.
- APPG launch event recording is available to watch here on Youtube:
- Presentation on the Smokefree 2030 Fund by Dr Henry Featherstone, Policy Adviser, available here. Detailed briefing available here
- Presentation by Prof Linda Bauld on policy recommendations available here