Earlier this year, the University of Edinburgh and NHS Health Scotland, carried out an inquiry to determine whether efforts to reduce smoking are working. The collected data indicated that the local tobacco control strategy is working, however smoking continues to be a problem amongst low income communities.
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“The evidence shows the positive impact of tobacco policy, ranging from the display ban which put tobacco out of sight in small shops and supermarkets to the introduction on smoke free NHS grounds.” said Dr Garth Reid, principal public health adviser at NHS Health Scotland, at the time.
As a result of the collected data, the NHS together with the Scottish Collaboration for Public Health Research and Policy (SCPHRP) at the University of Edinburgh, has published a study, putting forward the following ideas as part of a new national tobacco strategy.
“Five key actions identified for new strategy:
- Maintaining strong political leadership
- Addressing price
- Addressing availability
- Mass media campaigns
- Ensuring all work focuses on reducing inequalities”
E-cigarettes could be part of the solution
NHS Scotland said that smoking is still causing over 10,000 deaths per year, in what is “the biggest cause of preventable death in the country”, and Scotland’s aim is to have a “smoke-free generation” by 2034. A local health survey carried out in 2015 indicated that the number of vapers had increased to 7% of the Scottish population from 5% in 2014, whilst the number of smokers had dropped to 21%, from 28% in 2003. These figures are in line with those reported in England where the number of smokers has dropped to 16.9%, due to the popularity of electronic cigarettes.
Read Further: BBC