Fall in smoking is a step in the right direction but more needs to be done to bring smoking rates down further.



Thursday 18 March 2004

ASH news release: For immediate release:   Thursday 18th March 2004

 

Fall in smoking is a step in the right direction but more needs to be done to bring smoking rates down further.

The slight fall in smoking announced today by National Statistics is encouraging but shows that tougher measures are needed to bring the smoking rates down faster, said health charity ASH. The data show that the overall proportion of adult smokers fell from 27% in 2001 to 26% in 2002. [1]

 

Responding to the publication of the latest smoking data for 2002, ASH Director Deborah Arnott said:

 

“The recently published Wanless review of the future of public health noted that the current government targets on smoking were ‘unambitious’.    We endorse this view and believe smoking rates could be driven down further by tougher measures. Legislation to make all workplaces smokefree, for example, could result in 1.6 million fewer smokers. [3]

 

ASH welcomed the announcement that the point of sale regulations on tobacco advertising are to be implemented in December.

 

“The removal of virtually all tobacco promotion from shops should finally put an end to all overt tobacco marketing. The knock-on effect will mean fewer children being exposed to tobacco promotions making them less likely to start smoking. This measure is long overdue but at long last will begin to affect smoking rates over the next few years.”

 

 

Notes and links:

[1] Living in Britain – the 2002 General Household Survey.   http://www.statistics.gov.uk/pdfdir/lib0304.pdf

[2] Securing Good Health for the Whole Population. HM Treasury. February 2004

http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/

[3] According to the Department of Health, each one percentage fall in the prevalence of smoking means around 400,000 fewer smokers.

 

 

Contact: Deborah Arnott 020 7739 5902 (w) 079 7693 5987 (m) ISDN available