Call for more action to cut smoking toll 12 years after ban introduced in public buildings

Nearly three quarters of people in the North East want the Government to do more to combat smoking.

People in the North East want the Government do do more to cut smoking
People in the North East want the Government do do more to cut smoking

A YouGov poll – commissioned by Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) 12 years after buildings in England went smoke free – found 74% of people in the region support more action to limit smoking.

Among new polices being called for are:

*Requiring businesses to have a licence to sell tobacco which they can lose if they sell to underage smokers (80% support).

*Making tobacco manufacturers pay a levy or licence fee to Government to help smokers quit and prevent young people from taking up smoking (73% support).

*Increasing the age of sale from 18 to 21 (61% support).

*Requiring tobacco manufacturers to include Government mandated information about quitting inside cigarette packs (64%support).

With publication of a Prevention Green Paper due imminently, ASH is calling on Health Secretary Matt Hancock to include a commitment to ending smoking in all our communities by 2035.

Deborah Arnott, chief executive of ASH, said: “Ending smoking by 2035 is a worthy ambition for the Prevention Green Paper.

“To do so would make the single most significant contribution to delivering the Government’s goal of five extra healthy years of life but achieving the end of smoking will require innovative new policies and funding."

She added: “Business as usual will not suffice. The Government must respond to public demand and impose a ‘polluter pays’ levy on the tobacco industry and implement tougher laws on smoking, such as increasing the age of sale for cigarettes to 21.”