England could become ‘smoke-free’ by 2030 under new government pledge
The government has announced its aim to end smoking in England by 2030.
On Monday evening, the government released a green paper titled "Advancing our health: prevention in the 2020s", outlining its plans to tackle preventable ill health in the near future.
One of the concerns highlighted in the paper is the detrimental impact of smoking, a national health issue which has improved in recent years.
"Thanks to our concerted efforts on smoking, we now have one of the lowest smoking rates in Europe with fewer than one in six adults smoking," the document reads.
"Yet, for the 14 per cent of adults who still smoke, it's the main risk to health."
The government states that it is "setting an ambition to go 'smoke-free' in England by 2030".
"This includes an ultimatum for industry to make smoked tobacco obsolete by 2030, with smokers quitting or moving to reduced risk products like e-cigarettes."
The document explains that further proposals regarding the government's efforts to make England smoke-free over the next 11 years will be outlined "at a later date".
The green paper proposes that hospital patients who smoke receive support to help them give up the habit.
The government adds that England became one of the first countries to ban smoking in public places in 2007, in addition to introducing plain packaging for cigarettes three years ago.
Two years ago, the government published its tobacco control planfor England.
The plan included the aim of reducing the number of adults in the country who smoke from 15.5 per cent to 12 per cent by 2022.
The newly-released green paper also references issues including obesity, mental health services and diabetes prevention.
The document states that measures will be put into place to "shift the health system away from just treating illness, and towards preventing problems in the first place".
Members of the public can respond to the proposals laid out by the government by clicking here.
The consultation on the green paper will close at 11.59pm on Monday 14 October.