Health Policy July 22, 2019
DHSC opens consultation on tobacco legislation

By News Feature - Accountable Care Journal

The Department of Health and Social Care has opened a consultation on tobacco legislation introduced between 2010 and 2016 to establish its impact on smoking cessation and prevention.

As smoking remains the number one cause of death and disability in England, efforts here are not without merit. Since the ban on smoking indoors, there has been a raft of further legislation introduced seeking to curb the numbers of people smoking in England. This has included restrictions to advertising, graphic health warnings, a ban on smoking in cars, and the establishment of smoke-free places. However, the legislation is not all that has changed.

Over the past decade, a host of new technologies and products have entered the market seeking to encourage smokers to quit and use an alternative instead. Conventionally, this has consisted of gum and patches but more recently has expanded to include vaping and heat not burn tobacco.

 The review will consider how effective tobacco legislation has been in:

  • discouraging young people from taking up smoking and vaping
  • encouraging existing smokers to quit
  • protecting others from the harmful effects of cigarette smoke 

The legislation introduced between 2010 and 2016 includes bans on:

  • displaying tobacco products and prices in shops
  • selling nicotine-inhaling products, including e-cigarettes, to under 18s
  • buying nicotine-inhaling products on behalf of someone under 18 (proxy purchasing)
  • smoking in cars containing children 

The DHSC hopes the consultation will provide feedback on the effectiveness of the legislation and gain further understanding of what can be done to make England smoke free. This forms part of wider strategies in the UK to improve health outcomes and prevent people from engaging in harmful behaviours that will damage their health.

The consultation will close on 15 September 2019.

Responses can be submitted here.

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