This significant independent review into the government’s current tobacco control policies looks into whether government will achieve its ambition to make England smokefree by 2030.
Although good long-term progress has been made in reducing smoking rates to their lowest ever level, almost 6 million people still smoke in England and smoking is still one of the largest causes of health disparities.
The review was commissioned by the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care and makes 15 recommendations for government to achieve a smokefree society by reducing the numbers of people taking up smoking and helping smokers to quit.
In Greater Manchester alone, 14.9% of the adult population smoke – around 350,000 people. Separate research commissioned earlier this year by charity Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) found smoking-related healthcare costs Greater Manchester’s NHS £115m every year, including 24,000 hospital admissions and 1.1 million GP consultations.
Jane Pilkington, Director of Population Health at Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership, said: “We welcome the plans outlined in Javed Khan’s independent review to end smoking. In Greater Manchester, smoking rates are declining faster than in other parts of the country. But, smoking is still the leading cause of premature death, killing around 5,000 people in Greater Manchester each year from smoking-related illnesses.
“To protect people from the devastating effects of tobacco and tackle the deep-rooted health inequalities in our communities, we need to go further and faster. More than three quarters of people in the region back the Government’s ambition to make smoking history by 2030.
“We look forward to the publication of the Tobacco Control Plan this year, which we are confident will set out the measures needed, to make smoking a thing of the past.”
Sir Richard Leese, Chair Designate, NHS Greater Manchester Integrated Care Board, said:
“In Greater Manchester we have the drive and ambition to make smoking history for the health and prosperity of everyone living in the city region. We welcome the recommendations in Javed Khan’s independent review, which will help to achieve that vision.
“Smoking is a key driver of poverty in our communities and every day it is killing people, getting children hooked on a deadly addiction and costing society billions.
“The bold review published today gives us great confidence that we can and will make smoking a thing of the past. We fully support the plans and urge the Government to publish the eagerly awaited Tobacco Control Plan, including tougher measures to end smoking.”
Calls for the publication of the new Tobacco Control Plan by the end of the year are backed by MPs in the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Smoking and Health. Last year the APPG published its recommendations for a sufficiently funded Tobacco Control Plan, calling on Government to end the tobacco epidemic by 2030.
Bob Blackman MP, Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Smoking and Health said: “As Chairman of the APPG on Smoking and Health, I am delighted to see the publication of Javed Khan’s bold review to make smoking obsolete. It shows a determination to achieve our ambition to be smokefree by 2030, and level up the health of the nation. Now it is time for the Government to deliver a sufficiently funded Tobacco Control Plan containing the actions it knows are needed. My parents lost their lives to this lethal addiction, so this is personal, I don’t want others suffering the way I did.”
In the 1,053 days that have passed since the Government pledged to make England smokefree, in the North West:
- Nearly 54,000 people have died from smoking related illness.
- 49,471 children have started smoking.
- Over £6.2bn has been spent on tobacco.
The charity Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) is now calling on Government to publish its long-awaited Tobacco Control Plan by the end of the year and act on the findings of the Khan Review.
Deborah Arnott, Chief Executive of ASH, said: “Javed Khan’s top priority is immediate and substantial increased government funding for tobacco control. He’s absolutely right. England is way behind target on the Government’s smokefree 2030 ambition and while tougher regulations will help, without additional investment we will never get back on track. Every day the Government fails to act more than 200 people in England die from smoking and 280 children under 16 light their first cigarette, two thirds of whom will go on to become addicted smokers. The Secretary of State has said that it is a ‘moral outrage’ that England’s richest people live on average a decade longer than the poorest. The leading cause for this difference is smoking and it’s time for the government to match outrage with action.”