Stop smoking services need to be funded if the government's tobacco plan is going to work
The government have published their new tobacco control plan, explaining how they will help people quit smoking and set us on a path towards a smoke-free future.
This plan is really important. Smoking is the number 1 cause of early preventable death in the UK. People who smoke will die on average 10 years earlier than people who don’t.
The plan has lots of good ideas in it. The government will aim to reduce the overall rate of people who smoke from 15% to 12% by 2022, with even lower rates for young people and pregnant women.
We need to make sure that help to stop smoking is properly funded
All professionals working in the health service will be encouraged to give their patients advice and information on how to quit. This will help people who are ill or in hospital to stop smoking, which makes them more likely to recover well and live healthily afterwards.
New health campaigns will start to include information about using e-cigarettes to give up smoking. This is really important. Vaping is 95% safer than smoking cigarettes, but not everyone knows this.
However, for this plan to work we need to make sure that help to stop smoking is properly funded. Research has shown that going to your local stop smoking service is the most effective way to quit, but nearly 60% of areas have cut funding in the last few years.
It’s also important to say that this isn’t a plan to tackle lung disease. We all know that lots of people with a lung condition have never smoked. That’s why we need a separate, new plan to improve care and treatment for all our lung health.
Can you help us call for a new strategy for lung health by emailing your local MP?