The Government recently announced new measures to stop children who turn 14 this year from ever being legally sold cigarettes in England, in a bid to create the first ‘smokefree generation’. This will be one of the most significant public health interventions,
saving tens of thousands of lives and saving the NHS billions of pounds.
The plans the government are proposing to help achieve this vision will require legislative change, so an online consultation has been launched to collect the views of individuals, interested professionals and organisations.
The consultation is open now and closes at 11.59pm on Wednesday 6 December and can be accessed at the following link: Creating a smokefree generation consultation
Smoking is the biggest preventable killer in the UK – causing around 1 in 4 cancer deaths and leading to 64,000 deaths per year in England. It puts huge pressure on the NHS, almost every minute of every day someone is admitted to hospital because of smoking, and up to 75,000 GP appointments could be attributed to smoking each month – equivalent to over 100 appointments every hour.
Smoking rates vary slightly between BaNES, Swindon and Wiltshire and there are significant variations within each of these areas. However, the overall BSW smoking rate is similar to the national average. Smoking is the single largest avoidable cause of death and social inequalities in terms of life expectancy in the UK. Lung cancer is the most common cause of cancer death in BSW, although lung cancer mortality rates are lower than the national average. We have an opportunity to improve health and well-being by ensuring that, as far as possible, the future for BSW is smokefree.
Plans to treat tobacco dependency have been developed by a BSW Partnership working group which contains representatives from all local NHS Trusts, community providers and public health teams.
Steve Maddern, Director for Public Health at Swindon Borough Council said:
“Smoking in Swindon and more widely across BaNES, Swindon and Wiltshire is a preventable killer as well as a huge drain on public resources. These new government proposals will go a long way to help local people stop smoking and lead healthier lives and I encourage local organisations, professionals and individuals to respond positively to this consultation, pass on your views and help build a healthier, smokefree BSW.”