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Making smoking obsolete

Norfolk County Council, 13 June 2022 00:00

A new independent report 'Making smoking obsolete' reviewing national tobacco policy has been welcomed by Norfolk County Council. It recommends increased investment to stop young people from starting smoking, raising the age of sale, and reducing the appeal of smoking through a mass media campaign to create a Smokefree culture.

Smoking is the biggest contributor to preventable ill health and the main driver of health inequalities. It kills an estimated 1,239 people in Norfolk every year, and accounts for 5,892 years of life lost annually.

In Norfolk 44,935 children live in households with adults who smoke which increases their chances of becoming smokers and two thirds of adult smokers started before they reached the age of 18. The costs are substantial, estimated in Norfolk to be £266.8 million each year, including costs of healthcare, social care, productivity, and fire costs.

Cllr Bill Borrett, Norfolk County Council's Cabinet Member for Public Health, says:

"Here in Norfolk we support the Government's ambition of Smokefree 2030 and the vital focus on preventing young people starting smoking. While we've been supporting services such as Smokefree Norfolk for some time, more investment is needed across the health sector in smoking cessation services to make this ambition a reality. We'll be working with our NHS partners via the new Integrated Care System to deliver on both our commitments to tackling smoking and the NHS's own long term plan."

Dr Louise Smith, Director of Public Health in Norfolk says:

"I welcome today's report, it is an important milestone, reminding all of us of the dangers of smoking and the need to have dedicated investment to achieve the national ambition of Smokefree by 2030.

The impacts on health from smoking and tobacco are substantial and we currently invest in a range of services. These include Smoke Free Norfolk, which we have protected from cuts, and enables people to access support and aids to quitting such as e-cigarettes. We work with a range of partners such as trading standards to drive out illicit tobacco, and NHS colleagues to develop their inpatient services to support people to quit.

More investment means we could further develop these services, work with partners like the NHS to prioritise prevention, and improve the health and wellbeing of Norfolk residents."

The review sets out independent recommendations on how the Government can reach Smokefree 2030. It sets out 4 critical interventions:

  1. Provide a minimum additional investment of £125 million per year to fund comprehensive Smokefree interventions, including investing an extra £70 million per year in stop smoking services, ringfenced for this purpose.
  2.  Increase the age of sale for all tobacco products from 18, by one year, every year, so we achieve a Smokefree generation in this country.
  3. Embrace the promotion of vaping as the most effective tool to help smokers quit.
  4. Prevention must become part of the NHS's DNA and prioritise further action to stop people from smoking, by providing support and treatment across all its services, including primary care.
Last modified: 14 May 2024 12:43

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