Health

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:18 pm on 14th May 2019.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Matthew Hancock Matthew Hancock Secretary of State for Health and Social Care 4:18 pm, 14th May 2019

I respect the right hon. Lady’s work as Public Health Minister—she was excellent in that role—and I was going to turn to this point. It is very important that we understand the base we are starting from, but we also have the spending review, in which these budgets will be settled, and that is clearly an important cross-Government question that we will be addressing in the coming months.

Smoking cessation services have been mentioned. Now, the smoking rate has fallen since 2010 from 20.1% of the population to 14.9%, which is excellent, although it is part of a fall over a generation, not just the last 10 years. Likewise, the drug use rate has fallen from over 10% to 8.5%. We have to provide the services for those we still need to get off smoking and to support people to stop using drugs, but the number of people smoking and using drugs has fallen too.

On clean air, the World Health Organisation has called the clean air strategy we published an example for the rest of the world to follow, so I think in this area the necessary action we are taking should be being welcomed across this Chamber.