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Last July, the Tobacco Control Plan listed the government’s plans for a “smoke free” England, hence reducing smoking rates to 5% or less, which would equate to roughly one in 20 people being smokers.

If the current dramatic downward trend in smoking prevalence thanks to e-cigs is maintained, the smoke-free goal could be reached 11 years earlier than if the government would stick solely to traditional methods such as tax hikes.
Tuesday’s event, titled “When might England become Smokefree?”, referred to data from a report by Frontier Economics which calculated when the UK would achieve this goal. Using reliable statistical data from the NHS and the Office for National Statistics as its base, the report indicates that if the current dramatic downward trend in smoking prevalence thanks to e-cigarettes is maintained, the smoke-free goal could be reached 11 years earlier than if the government would stick solely to traditional methods such as tax hikes.

The speakers pointed out that the report was prepared for Philip Morris International, and is based on current trends, yet it offers useful insights nonetheless. The panel consisted of columnist for the Sunday Times and Spectator, Dr Roger Henderson, and Mark Littlewood, Director General of the Institute of Economic Affairs, Sarah Jakes, chair of NNA, was represented on the panel, which followed a short presentation of the report by Nick Fitzpatrick of Frontier Economics.

The more harm reduction products available, the quicker the goal is reached

Jakes expanded on the NNA’s position on alternative products, pointing out that increasing the variety of harm reduction products, increases the likelihood for smokers to find the method that most suits them, optimizing their chances of quitting, and speeding up smoking cessation rates in general.

In line with this, the UK government’s document released last Summer, Towards a Smokefree Generation, A Tobacco Control Plan for England, encouraged different localities to develop their own tobacco control strategies, with a focus on e-cigarettes and other harm reduction or smoking cessation aides.

Read Further: NNA

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