According to an article on BBC.com, the UK government has made a public pledge to put an end to smoking in England by 2030 in a recently issued green paper.
The document proposes a range of measures designed to tackle the preventable causes of ill health and to promote physical activity, healthy sleep patterns and more.
Currently, men and women in the UK spend over a fifth of their lives in ill health: 19 years for women and 16 for men.
In order to bring those numbers down, the paper proposes a set of measures, some of which are targeting smokers. For instance, any smoker admitted to a hospital will be automatically offered help to quit. The measures described in the paper are meant to complete the steps that have already been consulted on, including:
Clearer calorie labeling in cafes, restaurants, and takeaways
A ban on junk food advertising before 21:00
Banning the sale of energy drinks to children
Right after the paper’s release, it has received quite a bit of criticism. One of the main points for which the paper was criticized was the lack of commitment to introduce a levy on tobacco firms to pay for stop smoking services - something which had been called for a number of times.
Earlier, the UK government has also announced plans to create a smoke-free society - with smoking rates close to zero - by 2025. Currently, 14% of adults in the UK smoke.
The UK is generally known for its favorable approach to vaping, which is speculated to have been a strong contributor to the drop in the number of smokers in the country. And, according to a recent survey by Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), an estimated 3.2 million adults in Great Britain are now using electronic cigarettes. Public Health England has also issued a statement saying that vaping is 95% less risky for one’s health than smoking.