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New Tobacco Control Plan for England

PCRS-UK welcomes the Government’s new Tobacco Control Plan for England, “Towards a Smokefree Generation”, published this week.

PCRS-UK welcomes the Government’s new Tobacco Control Plan for England, “Towards a Smokefree Generation”, published this week.

By 2022 the plan aims to:

  • Reduce the number of 15 year olds who regularly smoke from 8% to 3% or less
  • Reduce smoking among adults in England from 15.5% to 12% or less
  • Reduce the inequality gap in smoking prevalence, between those in routine and manual occupations and the general population
  • Reduce the prevalence of smoking in pregnancy from 10.5% to 6% or less

Since the previous Tobacco Control Plan, which expired in 2015, smoking prevalence has reduced from 20.2% of adults to just 15.5% now. But there are still 7.3 million smokers in England and 200 people die from smoking related illness that could have been prevented. The Government’s vision is to create a smokefree generation (a smoking prevalence rate of 5% or less) by 2030.

The plan tasks both healthcare professionals and commissioners with supporting people to quit. PCRS-UK welcomes a pledge by Public Health England to provide all health professionals with access to tobacco dependency training; to promote links to stop smoking services across the health and social care system; and to implement all NICE guidelines by 2022.

PCRS-UK believes that:

  • Smoking is not a lifestyle choice but a relapsing long term condition that usually starts in childhood
  • There are effective, evidence based, treatments that can be delivered in primary care
  • Diagnosing and treating tobacco dependency is the responsibility of every healthcare professional. 

Noel Baxter, PCRS-UK Executive Chair comments 'A significant development in this latest tobacco control strategy is the clear message to the health sector to deliver further improvements in reducing tobacco use and improving therefore health outcomes. Treating tobacco dependence according to established evidence is THE value proposition for our health service at this time.'  

What you can do:

  • Read ‘Towards a smoke-free generation: tobacco control plan for England’. Department of Health July 2017. HERE 
  • Make sure everyone in your practice is trained to Make Every Contact Count and to deliver evidence based interventions that help patients to quit smoking
  • Use these tobacco dependency resources published in the September 2016 issue of Primary Care Respiratory Update 
PCRS Produced / Collaboration
Clinical Area: 
Tobacco smoking and nicotine
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