Campaign group welcomes control plan for tobacco

Ailsa Rutter, director of Fresh.
Ailsa Rutter, director of Fresh.

Fresh has welcomed the Government’s new Tobacco Control Plan for England – Towards a Smokefree Generation – published last week, which sets an ultimate goal of five per cent or fewer people smoking.

The previous plan, which highlighted work in the North East, expired at the end of 2015 and pressure has been growing from Parliament and the public-health community for the Government to renew its commitment to tackling smoking.

Fresh welcomes the Government’s vision of a ‘smokefree generation’, defined as a prevalence rate of five per cent or below. Smoking rates have fallen in the North East from 29 per cent in 2005 to 17.2 per cent in 2016.

A vision for the North East of five pre cent overall adult smoking rates by 2025 was backed by NHS and local government leaders in 2014. Modelling undertaken earlier this year identified that this could be achieved and that the region remain committed to this ambition.

Ailsa Rutter, director of Fresh said: “We have made fantastic strides over the past decade and we welcome the Government renewing its commitment to reduce smoking further.

“However, this plan is published at a time when councils and the NHS are facing difficult funding challenges. For local action to work, it needs to be funded, especially to tackle appalling rates of smoking-related disease among people from our poorest communities and people with mental-health problems.”