UK aims for smoke-free future by 2030

UK aims for smoke-free future by 2030
24 people weekly die from smoking in Stoke-on-Trent, prompting the government's aim to eradicate smoking by 2030.

It has been reported that approximately 24 people die from smoking-related causes in Stoke-on-Trent each week. However, in the coming years, a nationwide campaign is underway to eliminate smoking habits. The government has set a goal to achieve a "smoke-free" status by 2030, with only 5% of the population still smoking at the start of the new decade.

An independent review called the Khan Review into tobacco control policies has revealed that without further action, the target date for a smoke-free UK will be delayed by at least seven years, with the poorest areas not achieving this goal until 2044. The Health and Welfare Committee of the Stoke-on-Trent City Council has stated that approximately six million people are still smoking in the city.

The city is one of the highest smoking areas in the West Midlands region. A recent survey conducted in 2019 found that one-quarter of the population in Stoke, a suburb of Trent, aged 18 and above, smoke.

Andrea Fallon, interim director of public health for the Stockton-on-Tees City Council, stated that "We need to increase our work speed by around 40%, which is not an insignificant achievement. Smoking accounts for about one-sixth of all deaths and is also a significant factor in causing inequality. Smokers from poor communities also want to quit and try to quit, but their chances of success are much smaller. They spend much more of their income on tobacco products.

One-third of adult tobacco consumption is attributed to individuals with poor mental health, particularly those suffering from severe mental illness, who also happen to have the poorest health status in our cities. Smoking is linked to a decrease in life expectancy by 10 years, and implementation of measures to eliminate smoking would lead to approximately 2.6 million adults and 1 million children being lifted out of poverty.

Around 24 people die from smoking every week in the city - a major risk factor for many illnesses. If it were not for smokers, over 1,200 people would not die each year.

The board was informed that the smoking rate in Stoke-on-Trent has gradually dropped to 18.2%. As of 2019, the number of mothers who smoked during pregnancy has decreased to 16.3% at the time of delivery, but it still remains "significantly higher than" the national rate of 10.4%.

Ms. Fallon said, "This will be a key driving factor for premature death and infant mortality rates. It is a crucial area for us to focus on to ensure that we get as much support as possible for women to quit smoking.

The board of directors has learned that smoking services in the area are catering to pregnant women and those living with them. The national smoking strategy is set to be updated and the committee has been asked to consider local measures to address tobacco dependency in the city.

The "Sweat Commentaries" have put forward recommendations for moving towards a smoke-free future, such as increasing the legal age for purchasing tobacco products by one year for adults and providing smoking machines as alternatives. They have also proposed introducing a "tobacco license" for retailers and increasing tobacco tax costs by more than 30%.

Committee Chair Abbie Brown stated, "The statistical data on the number of deaths in this city each week due to this event has made it a highly acute focus.

Mark Seaton, the Managing Director for the North Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Clinical Commissioning Group, was replaced by the Integrated Care Commissioning Group last month. He stated, "I am considering whether we can adjust our services to meet the needs of struggling patient groups. The success rate for mentally ill patients to quit smoking is low, and I wonder if we need to adjust our services to meet these patients' needs.

Rather than expecting universal services to meet everyone's needs, we should focus on the specific needs of different groups and explore flexible approaches to improve smoking cessation rates among certain groups.


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