ASH Welcomes London Health Commission Proposals on Smokefree London

Wednesday 15 October 2014

Action on Smoking and Health has welcomed new recommendations to the Mayor of London on smoking and tobacco control in the city. The recommendations come from the London Health Commission, an independent inquiry established in September 2013 by the Mayor and reporting directly to him. The Commission is chaired by leading surgeon Professor the Lord Darzi KBE PC, and has been looking at how London’s health and healthcare can be improved for the benefit of the population.

The Commission has reported that:
• There are still 1.2 million smokers in London
• Smoking-related disease causes 8,400 premature deaths a year in the city and more than 51,000 hospital admissions
• Boroughs with high smoking prevalence are also among the poorest, and smoking remains a major cause of health inequalities.

Key proposals made by the Commission are:
• All Royal parks should become smokefree
• Byelaws covering Parliament Square Gardens and Trafalgar Square should be amended to make them smokefree
• Citywide working on illicit tobacco should be strengthened, with a co-ordination body including London local authorities, the Met Police, Fire Brigade, HMRC, trading standards, Public Health England and tobacco control alliances
• London Transport should place more prominent smokefree signs at bus stops.

The Commission also backs a (positive) licensing scheme for retailers selling tobacco, to help control illicit tobacco and ensure enforcement of the law on selling tobacco to children.

Deborah Arnott, Chief Executive of health charity ASH said:

“We are delighted by the Commission’s plan for smoking and tobacco control in London. We hope that the Mayor of London will support it in full and announce that it will be a top priority. London needs to do more to tackle smoking which is the major cause of preventable premature death in the Capital.”



Notes and Links

Action on Smoking and Health is a health charity working to eliminate the harm caused by tobacco use. For more information see: ASH receives funding from Cancer Research UK and the British Heart Foundation.

Contact: Hazel Cheeseman 020 7404 0242 (w) or 07425 170739 (m)