"As an honorary life fellow of Cancer Research UK, like many, I remain deeply concerned by the serious and harmful effects caused by smoking to the 7 million people in the UK who continue to smoke, as well as to society as a whole.
"While, encouragingly, the number of people smoking is in decline, we must acknowledge that, unfortunately, it will not be possible for every smoker to quit.
"Therefore, as the Government prepares its Tobacco Control Plan, and works toward its target of a smoke-free society by 2030, we must grasp the opportunities presented by our withdrawal from the EU and implement a smarter, more versatile strategy to reduce smoking.
"Rather than focussing solely on the elimination of cigarette smoking – as important as, of course, this is – we should implement a new regulatory framework that not only creates further barriers to cigarette smoking, but which also encourages smokers to transition to less harmful non-combustible alternatives.
"This means a concerted campaign to highlight the benefits of e-cigarettes, the removal of unhelpful EU regulations, a more comprehensive regulatory framework that recognises the importance of products such as nicotine pouches and heated tobacco, and, importantly, the will to champion such an approach internationally as an independent member of the World Health Organisation.
"Ultimately, we must give smokers the best possible chance of moving away from cigarettes and all but eliminating the use of harmful combustible products by 2030."
On Tuesday 23 March, Mr David Jones MP led a Westminster Hall debate on reduced-risk smoking products and proposals for a smoke-free society by 2030.
Several other MPs contributed to the debate, and it was responded to by Jo Churchill MP - Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health and Social Care.
Relevant parliamentary material
House of Commons Library research briefings
- Effect of the covid-19 outbreak and the abolition of Public Health England on achieving a smokefree England by 2030 (11 November 2020)
- Statistics on Smoking (21 August 2020)
- Prohibition of tobacco displays (7 January 2020)
- Adjournment debate: WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (5 March 2020)
- Backbench Business Committee debate: Smokefree England: Covid-19 and PHE Abolition (12 November 2020).
- Lee Anderson MP, Smoking (6 January 2021)
- Sir Charles Walker MP, Tobacco (5 March 2021)
- Carla Lockhart MP, Tobacco: Packaging (5 February 2020)
- Mr Barry Sheerman MP, Electronic Cigarettes (21 February 2020)
- Government consultation: Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016 and the Standardised Packaging of Tobacco Products Regulations 2015
- NHS: Quit smoking
See the following pages for information on healthcare provision in:
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