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Tobacco control policy in England

Advancing our health: prevention in the 2020s set out the Government’s ambition for a Smokefree 2030. Published in 2019, this also pledged to find funding for tobacco control including through a ‘polluter pays’ mechanism; and to bring forward ‘further proposals’ to ‘finish the job’ and ‘make smoking obsolete’.

A new Tobacco Control Plan to deliver the smokefree 2030 ambition was due to be published in July 2021. However, in December 2021 the Government announced that it would be delayed until 2022.

The currently applicable strategy for tackling tobacco in England is Smoke-free generation: tobacco control plan for England 2017, which aimed to create a smoke-free generation, defined as an adult smoking rate of 5% or less. Targets were set for the end of 2022 to:

  • reduce the number of 15-year-olds who regularly smoke from 8% to 3% or less.
  • reduce smoking among adults in England from 15.5% to 12% or less.
  • reduce the inequality gap in smoking prevalence between those in routine and manual occupations and the general population.
  • reduce the prevalence of smoking in pregnancy from 10.7% to 6% or less.

Various measures to achieve these targets were set out in the Plan.

Tobacco control plan: delivery plan 2017 to 2022

This plan sets out actions for meeting the aims of the tobacco control plan for England and how progress will be monitored.

Previous plans include:

Devolved Nations

Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland have their own tobacco strategies. The smokefree ambition for Wales is also 2030, and 2034 for Scotland. Northern Ireland has not yet set a date.