Legal smoking age ‘should be raised every year’

Recent data show that an estimated 1 in 4 deaths from all cancers are due to smoking.

The independent review also found that smoking places a disproportionate burden on the most vulnerable families and communities. At the extreme, smoking prevalence in Burnley is 4.5 times higher than in Exeter.

The review found that smokers in the country’s most deprived areas spend a higher proportion of their income on tobacco. The average smoker in the Northeast spends over 10 percent of their income on tobacco, compared to just over 6 percent in the Southeast.

“Without immediate action, England will miss its smoke-free target”

dr Commenting on the review, Khan said: “In this review, I have looked at our current smoke-free initiatives along with best practices from around the world. I would like to thank the many valued voices that have made important contributions in shaping this bold and ambitious report.

“Without immediate and sustained action, England will fall short of the smoke-free target by many years, and most likely decades.”

“A smoke-free society should be a societal norm – but to achieve that, we need to do more to discourage people from smoking, to help those who already smoke and to support those who are disproportionately affected by smoking.

“My holistic set of recommendations for government will do this while saving lives, saving money and addressing the health disparities associated with smoking.”

He added that the plans are not only aimed at current ministers. “My proposals are not only a plan for this government, but also for subsequent governments. To truly achieve a smoke-free society in our great country, we must commit to ending smoking once and for all,” he said.

“Every year £12 billion escapes from smokers’ pockets”

Deborah Arnott, Chief Executive of Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), said: “Javed Khan’s report represents an ambitious vision and combines a call for government to increase investment in tobacco control with tougher regulations, both of which are essential to be smoke free by 2030.

“That’s also what the public wants – research by YouGov, commissioned by ASH to provide evidence for the review, shows a significant majority support increased government intervention to combat smoking.

“Twelve billion pounds flow out of the pockets of smokers every year, deepening the cost of living crisis in our poorest communities.

Michelle Mitchell, Chief Executive of Cancer Research UK, added: “Smoking is the leading cause of cancer, with an estimated 1 in 4 deaths from all cancers in the UK being linked to smoking. The scale of the problem is undeniable, but England remains on track to become smoke free by 2030 and for the most disadvantaged it will not be until the mid-2040s.

“This review provides the government with the necessary steps to close the gap in health inequalities and make smoking obsolete; it must now implement the recommendations. With bold action, we can save countless lives.” Legal smoking age ‘should be raised every year’

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