Is This Finally, the End of Smoking?
Earlier this week newspapers across England revealed leaked government papers that planned a total wipeout of cigarettes by 2030.
The green papers from the Department for Health and Social care plan to build on the declining smoking rates and eventually phase out cigarettes in the next 11 years. With the government hoping to reduce smoking rates from 14.9% (2017 figures) to 12% by 2022.
There are also proposals for tobacco companies to foot the bill for stop-smoking services to lighten the financial weight on the NHS. This US-style levy will reduce the pressure on budgets and help local governments fund projects and services that are tailored to their constituents.
Further punishment for tobacco companies also includes mandatory ‘how to quit’ leaflets in every packet of cigarettes.
The government is pushing to get full tobacco control in a bid to end the death toll that claims the lives more than 120,000 people per year. In 2007 the government outlawed smoking in public places and in 2016 they made it compulsory for all cigarettes to have plain packaging.
What Does This Mean for E-cigarettes?
Despite the laws and rules around cigarettes and e-cigarettes being closely linked, the UK government is encouraging the use of e-cigarettes.
In the leaked report, the ministers planned to either get smokers to ditch the habit fulltime or transition to e-cigarettes.
The UK government has been advocating e-cigarettes after reports from Public Health England found e-cigarettes to be 95% less harmful than traditional cigarettes. Following this, Cancer Research UK reported that e-cigarette users have 97% less cancer-causing chemicals than that of a smoker.
Cost-wise, each smoker turned vaper saves the UK £74,000 per year in stop smoking services and hospital admissions, yet another reason why the government is encouraging more smokers to transition to vaping.
Ministers have called for a review of e-cigarettes and the effectiveness of them as part of the initiative to make Britain smoke-free.
The leaked plan is a step forward for the industry that actively seeks to reduce the number of people smoking. With this plan, e-cigarettes will no longer be captured under tobacco regulation and be treated as a separate product with their own rules.
How do you feel about the planned ban on tobacco?