A cross-party group of MPs has set out a range of tough measures to tackle tobacco dependency including raising the minimum age of sale for tobacco to prevent youngsters taking up the habit.
The report by the Parliamentary Group on Smoking and Health, backed by 17 health charities and medical organisations including PCRS, sets out a vision for a smokefree generation (a smoking prevalence of 5% or less).
It says this could be achieved by:
- Introducing a levy on big tobacco companies to fund measures to encourage people to quit
- Tightening the rules on showing smoking on TV and in films.
- Raising taxes on tobacco products to reduce their affordability
- Making manufacturers insert stop-smoking information cards inside packs.
- Increasing Public Health England funding for national mass media stop-smoking campaigns including social marketing and public relations activity.
- Improving data collected on smoking and mental health to help support people with mental health conditions to quit smoking.
- Making all mental health inpatient services sites smokefree by 2018.
- Reducing the prevalence of smoking in pregnancy to 6% or less
- Backing evidence based innovations to support quitting
The report praises measures in the NHS Long Term Plan to help smokers to quit and issues a call to action to healthcare professionals. It says: “The NHS needs to do more to support the smokers in its care, prompting and supporting their quit attempts and linking into the services provided by local government.”
Dr Noel Baxter, PCRS Executive Chair says: “PCRS supports this report as it will only be a whole system and integrated approach that will achieve the smokefree future generations we want to see. We must focus as health professionals on identifying and treating tobacco dependency but also increasingly work more productively with colleagues in our local authorities.”
Healthcare professionals can update their skills and knowledge on helping smokers to quit by reading the new PCRS Guide to Diagnosing and Managing Tobacco Dependency