Target for smoke-free England by 2030 ‘will be missed by nearly a decade’

Target for smoke free England by 2030 'will be missed by nearly a decade'

The current target for a smoke free England by 2030 will take an extra 10 years to achieve, according to a charity.

In 2019, the government set out a goal for England to be ‘smoke free’ by 2030 – this is said to be met when adult smoking rates fall to 5% or less.

However, Cancer Research has said it will take an additional 10 years to achieve as the number of smokers giving up tobacco has ‘slowed’.

In its new report, the charity predicts that by 2030, 8.3% of the population will describe themselves as smokers. As a result – and based on current trends – the government will not achieve the goal until 2039.

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Preventable cancer

The charity is now calling on the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Steve Barclay, to publish a plan for tobacco control.

Chief executive of Cancer Research UK, Michelle Mitchell, said: ‘Smoking remains the largest preventable cause of cancer and death in the UK, but the Government has the power to change this.

‘With bold action and strong leadership, we can ensure a future free of tobacco for reducing cancer and saving lives.

‘We urge Steve Barclay to continue his legacy of being bold with tobacco control to reduce the number of people getting and dying of smoking related cancers, relieve the pressure on the NHS, and save the country billions of pounds each year.’

Whilst smoking rates are declining, the charity says that for a smoke-free England by 2030, smoking rates need to drop around 70% faster.

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