A new YouGov poll for the health charity ASH (Action on Smoking and Health) shows 70% of people in the North West support the Prime Minister’s plans to create a smokefree generation.
The PM’s proposed raising the age of sale so that it will never be legal to sell tobacco to anyone born after the start of 2009.
This was a national survey of English adults and 429 of them were from the North West.
UK-wide Government consultation
The poll comes with one week to go until the end of the UK-wide Government consultation to stop the start of new smokers, which also covers tougher regulation to curb youth vaping.
A requirement for retailers to request proof of age from all those buying tobacco, to make the policy easier to implement, is also supported by ASH, and backed by 68% of the public in the North West.
The consultation also considers what further regulations are needed on vaping products. ASH is calling for the following measures:
- Making disposable vapes subject to duty to reduce their affordability and increase powers of HMRC and Border Force to prevent illegal vapes being imported.
- Putting vapes behind the counter and preventing their promotion in shops
- Banning product design and brand imagery on vapes and their packaging which is appealing to children
Together these measures will reduce the affordability and appeal of vaping to children while ensuring e-cigarettes remain available as a less harmful alternative to help smokers quit.
To have your say on creating a smokefree generation complete the National Government consultation which is open until 11:59pm on Wednesday 6 December 2023.
Stop Stopping Support
Smokefree Knowsley, Knowsley’s stop smoking service, provides free support and advice to anyone wanting to quit smoking. They can support your over the phone, by video or face to face. A Stop Smoking Advisor will develop a personalised plan aligned to your needs.
For support and free tools to quit smoking from Knowsley Stop Smoking Service call 0151 426 7462, text quit to 61825 (normal network charge) or visit the website: www.smokefreeknowsley.org.uk
If you prefer you can use your local pharmacy stop smoking services. Please contact your local pharmacy for more information.
Cllr Christine Bannon, Knowsley Council Cabinet Member for Health, said:
“Smoking remains one of the leading causes of preventable ill health and death. No one wants to see children start smoking and this piece of legislation would help end this pattern of harmful behavior of our children and young people.
“The poll shows overwhelming support from the public in the North West for raising the age of sale and I’d urge Knowsley residents to respond to the Government’s consultation before the 6 December deadline and help protect our children and young people from harm.”
Professor Matthew Ashton, Chair of the Champs Public Health Collaborative Directors of Public Health Board, said:
“As Directors of Public Health in Cheshire and Merseyside, we are extremely concerned about the harmful effects of smoking and have been advocating for changes in legislation for some time. We have also strongly called for measures to reduce access to vapes for those who don’t smoke and we particularly support interventions to deter young people from vaping.
Every year, thousands of people die in our region as a direct result of tobacco consumption. We know that most smokers start young, regret ever starting and then struggle to quit. While we will continue to support those people who want to quit, we must break the cycle of our children and young people becoming addicted to tobacco.
This poll shows overwhelming support from the public for raising the age of sale and we must ensure that the proposed legislation is made a reality. We would urge people to make it a priority to respond to the Government’s consultation and help protect our children and young people from harm.”
Deborah Arnott, Chief Executive of ASH, said:
“This is not a party political issue in the UK, successive governments, backed by strong public and parliamentary support, have passed increasingly stringent tobacco regulations aimed at bringing the smoking epidemic to an end. The passing of the smokefree generation legislation promised in the King’s speech, backed by increased investment to help adult smokers quit, can put us in pole position to achieve a smokefree future.”