Smoking in beer gardens is banned in England under proposed tobacco law overhaul
Smoking should be banned in outdoor places such as beer gardens, cafe sidewalks and beaches, a study calling for a sweeping overhaul of tobacco laws has suggested. The plan, commissioned by the government, said ministers will not meet their pledge to make England smoke-free by 2030 unless reforms are urgently introduced.
Dr Javed Khan, who led the review, made 15 recommendations calling for action, including banning supermarkets from selling tobacco or cigarettes and mass anti-smoking campaigns on TV and social media social. Among the recommendations are four ‘essentials to do’ for the government to act immediately, including an extra £125million a year to fund the support smokers need to help them quit.
This should include investing an additional £70million a year in stop-smoking services, with a possible tax on tobacco companies to pay, according to the report.
“If the government cannot fund this itself, it should ‘make the polluter pay’ and either introduce a tax on the tobacco industry or raise an additional corporation tax, effective immediately,” he said. -he declares. The second “must-do” is to increase the selling age of 18 by one year every year, until no one can buy a tobacco product anymore. If implemented by 2026, it would mean anyone aged 14 and under would never be able to buy a cigarette.
The third call is to promote vaping as an “effective tool to help people quit smoking”, which, while not a risk-free “quick fix”, is better than smoking.
Fourth, prevention ‘must be part of the NHS DNA’, said Dr Khan, adding that the health service must do more to encourage smokers to quit ‘in every interaction they have with health services “.
At present, the government is on track to miss its target of making England smoke-free by 2030, which means 5% or less of adults smoke. Smoking causes nearly one in five cancer cases and more than one in four cancer deaths each year in the UK. Nearly six million people in England still smoke.
Dr Khan estimated the annual cost of smoking to society at around £17billion – £2.4billion for the NHS alone – and said ‘making smoking obsolete in England would take out around £2.6million adults and one million children of poverty”.
The former chief executive of children’s charity Barnardo’s has said the government should ban online sales of all tobacco products – calling it the ‘Wild West’ for sales. Other recommendations include printing individual cigarettes with statements such as “smoking kills” or making them green, a watershed at 9 p.m., and a rating of 18 on any movie or television program depicting smoking, as well as mandatory on-screen health warnings if smoking is shown.
Smoking should also be banned in all premises selling food and drink, with the suggestion of a ban outside cafes, restaurants and pubs. The report also says smoking should be banned “in all outdoor spaces where children are present”, for example on public beaches.
In addition, councils should strive to ensure that 70% of new social housing tenancies and developments are smoke-free.
Dr Khan said the government should “substantially” increase the cost of duty (over 30%) on all tobacco products to make smoking more expensive and abolish duty-free cigarettes. An additional £15m a year is to be invested in cracking down on the sale of illicit tobacco and giving ‘trading standards the power to shut down’ rogue retailers.
Dr Khan said without further action now, England will miss the 2030 smoke-free target by at least seven years, with poorer regions not reaching it until 2044. He told a online meeting that it was necessary to stop the tobacco industry on children and young people,” adding that if cigarettes were introduced today, they would never be legalized.
This view was echoed by England’s Chief Medical Officer, Professor Sir Chris Whitty, who said the cigarette industry derives its profits from “getting young people addicted to tobacco, which will kill or seriously handicap many of them”.
He said at the briefing: “Cigarette industry lobbyists will try to make this a debate between health and freedom. This is the most dishonest debate you can imagine. The majority of smokers want to quit, but cannot because the cigarette industry made them addicted at a very young age. They can not. It is not freedom of choice. If you are in favor of freedom, you are absolutely not in favor of this addictive industry which kills so many people.
Dr Khan said in his report: “If we do nothing different, smoking will cause more than half a million additional deaths by 2030. Even if we reach the 5% target by then , we would still have two million smokers, two-thirds of whom will die from smoking if they don’t quit.
“To truly achieve a smoke-free society in this great country of ours, smoking should be obsolete. The government now has the opportunity to make our country a place where cigarettes disappear from our stores. Make this country a country where the tobacco industry won’t want to trade”
Dr Khan said he was setting “an ambitious, but realistic target” to ensure that every community in every region has a smoking rate below 5% by 2035, and an ambition to make smoking obsolete by ‘by 2040. The Royal College of Physicians backed the review’s findings, while Labor said it ‘presents an opportunity for step change’ in preventing thousands of deaths. But Simon Clark, director of smokers group Forest, said ‘creeping bans will not stop young adults from smoking’ and the sale of tobacco will be driven underground.
A spokesperson for Imperial Brands, which makes Golden Virginia tobacco and other brands, said it would share its views with the government as part of a consultation, but shared “the long-term commitment government term on vaping”.
Public Health Minister Maggie Throup said “the tobacco industry is already required to make significant contributions to public finances, through tobacco, tobacco VAT and tobacco tax. companies”. But she said in light of the new report “we will continue to explore the evidence base with the Treasury on the best options for raising funds in support of the government’s ambition to be smoke-free by 2030. “.
Downing Street has not ruled out a ban on smoking in outdoor cafes, saying instead the new review will be “carefully considered”.