Department of Health England announced on the 18th of July 2017 their plan to reduce smoking in England, with the specific aim of creating a smoke free generation by the end of 2022. Vaping as an aid to stop smoking forms part of the plan, as a notable means to help reach this goal. (Read the full Policy Paper)
The specific smoke-free targets cover all aspects of the smoking population with a direct aim of reducing the number of 15-year-old teenagers who smoke regularly from 8% to at least 3%.
The target for reducing smoking among adults is to reduce from 15.5% to 12% or lower and also reduce the inequality gap in the smoking population between socio-economic groups in routine and manual type jobs versus the general population as a whole.
It’s well known that there is a high prevalence of smokers among people who suffer mental health issues and therefore this group is also a focus of the plan. Reducing smoking in pregnancy is another key target aiming to reduce the numbers from the current 10.5% to 6% or less.
UK doctors are welcoming this new proposal, however they suggest the relevant public health authorities will need to be correctly funded in order for the plan to succeed.
Vaping e-cigarettes and smoking cessation products feature in the plan and Public Health England (PHE) will report regular updates on the impact of e-cigarettes and other products on annual basis.
The UK Government seems to be leaping ahead with their endgame to smoking. With 7.3 millions smokers in England of which, smoking kills around 200 people a day from preventable smoking related illness this plan is another strategy which will hopefully bring them closer to their smoke-free goal.
New Zealand’s goals to become smoke-free by 2025 is opening up their mindset on how e-cigarettes containing nicotine could help them reach their goal. The Ministry of Health announced earlier this year (29 March 2017) their intention to legalise the sale of vaping products containing nicotine.