Smoking still takes 90,000 lives a year
While smoking rates have declined significantly they remain far higher within the most deprived communities. As a result these communities experience the greatest smoking related health harms, and smoking is responsible for half of the nine year difference in life expectancy between the richest and poorest communities.
An intergenerational addiction
Children growing up around adults who smoke are more likely to smoke themselves, and find it hard to quit when they grow up. Effective, long-term action is needed to help break this cycle.
E-cigarettes can help people stop smoking
They are thought to be around 95% less harmful to health than tobacco and for many they are a great way to give up smoking. E-cigarettes are not risk free however, and more research is needed on how long-term vaping can affect the lungs and overall health.
We need change
Policy makers should:
- Legislate to make tobacco manufacturers pay for a Smokefree 2030 Fund. Use this to increase funding for local Stop Smoking Services to remove the postcode lottery, ensuring that all smokers have access to effective help wherever they live.
- Deliver anti-smoking behaviour change campaigns targeted at those groups and communities with the highest smoking rates and restrict the areas where people can smoke.
- Consult on raising the age of sale for tobacco from 18 to 21, to protect more children and young people from harm.