The UK government has this week set a target of becoming a smoke-free by 2030.
The target was released on Monday evening within a Green Paper. The key initiatives include quit smoking leaflets within cigarette packets and ‘polluter pays’ for tobacco companies.
Smoking rates have declined rapidly in recent times and less than 15% of the nation are now smokers. This is the second lowest smoking rate in Europe, beaten only by Sweden. The government is clearly very keen to encourage this decline to continue and gather momentum. The Green Paper explains that “The gains in tobacco control have been hard-won, and there’s still much to do” and that they want to “finish the job”.
For the UK to be considered smoke-free by 2030, the smoking rate would have to be reduced to less than 5%. A number of initiatives have been laid out and e-cigarettes are very much still in the government’s stop smoking plans. The Green Paper states:
“We are setting an ambition to go ‘smoke-free’ in England by 2030.This includes an ultimatum for industry to make smoked tobacco obsolete by 2030, with smokers quitting or moving to reduced risk products like e-cigarettes. Further proposals for moving towards a smoke-free 2030 will be set out at a later date.”
How will the UK go smoke-free by 2030?
The key initiatives include ‘polluter pays’, quit smoking inserts and a crackdown on illicit tobacco products. ‘Polluter pays’ is an initiative which would see tobacco companies being held responsible for covering the cost of helping smokers quit. Currently, the NHS local stop smoking services are government-funded by general taxation. This is where the majority of smoking cessation support is delivered. Therefore, one of the considerations is to force tobacco giants to pay a levy to help fund these services. This could help to relieve the strain on local budgets and allow more smokers to be given further attention. This is particularly important in deprived areas, where smoking rates are considerably higher.
Whilst rates have generally decreased in the UK, prevalence in certain groups remains concerning. 31% of people in social housing smoke, and manual workers are more likely to light up. This point of social inequality of smoking rates was explored within the document. This segment featured the Salford ‘Swap to Stop’ case study. This study saw Totally Wicked work with Salford City Council in conjunction with a local housing association, stop smoking services and pharmacies. Tobacco companies may also be forced to include ‘help to quit’ guidance to accompany cigarettes. This would be in the form of a leaflet insert in all legal cigarette packets. It has not been revealed what these will consist of or whether advice on e-cigarettes will be provided. Black market cigarettes could also be taken more seriously.
The Green paper suggests that there will be a pledge to crackdown on illicit tobacco. Chris Green, Totally Wicked Cessation Lead commented,
I’m pleased to see a levy may be placed on the tobacco giants to help fund stop smoking support. Over the last decade we’ve seen smoking cessation services stripped to the bone and in some of the most deprived areas of the UK, decommissioned altogether. It seems fair that those responsible for peddling the disease should foot the bill and not the tax payer.To “finish the Job” and wipe out smoking in the next 11 years, bold steps need to be taken. There are still around 400,000 hospital admissions each year attributable to smoking. Recently, two hospitals in the Midlands allowed vape stores to open their doors on site. Public Health England has been urging hospitals to sell e-cigarettes for some time and we hope to see many more trusts follow this example.”
Go Smoke-free today
If you still smoke or know someone who does, then you can play your part in helping the UK go smoke-free by 2030. Hundreds of thousands of smokers have already made the switch to vaping in the UK. This has contributed towards the steep decline in smoking rates in recent years. The more smokers who make the switch, the quicker this target can be reached.
If you want to find out more about how to make the switch, visit Totally Wicked’s New to Vaping page. Stopping smoking can be a daunting process so be sure to use the right tools and search for valuable information.
Picking the right e-cig is essential so be sure to utilise the Totally Wicked e-cigarette chooser. Likewise, choosing the right e-liquid is an important process to ensure the switch is seamless. Try a few different flavours and be sure to check the nicotine strength guide so you set off on the right track.