Smokefree 2030 — [Caroline Nokes in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 10:40 am on 26th April 2022.

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Photo of Maggie Throup Maggie Throup The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care 10:40 am, 26th April 2022

If I may, I will come to that later in my speech, but the hon. Lady makes a very good point.

On top of the measures, the NHS has renewed its commitment to tobacco treatment through the NHS long-term plan, delivering NHS-funded tobacco treatment services to all in-patients, pregnant women and people accessing long-term mental health and learning disability services until 2024. The Government also continue to explore ways to move smokers away from smoking and towards alternative nicotine products such as vapes, as highlighted by Mary Glindon. We know that the best thing a smoker can do for their health is to quit smoking altogether, but we also know how hard that can be. It remains the Government’s goal to maximise the public health opportunities presented by vapes while ensuring that such products are not appealing to young people and non-smokers. The hon. Member for Denton and Reddish made a very good point on this issue in his speech, and it requires balanced and proportionate regulation.

Despite the progress made so far, the Government acknowledge that we need to go further to achieve our ambition to be smokefree by 2030, which is why the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care asked Javed Khan OBE to lead an independent review into tobacco control in January this year. The Khan review is expected to be published next month and will make a set of recommendations to the Government. The review has two objectives. The first is to identify the most impactful interventions to reduce the uptake of smoking, particularly among young people. The second is to identify how best to support smokers to quit, especially in deprived communities and among priority groups.

Mr Khan has met hon. Members from both the all-party parliamentary group on smoking and health and the all-party parliamentary group for vaping, and he has carefully considered their views and proposals. Quite a number of members of those APPGs have expressed their approval of that route and how Javed Khan is getting into the depth of everything. Once the review is published next month, the Government will consider its recommendations, which will help inform both the upcoming health disparities White Paper and the new tobacco control plan, to be published later this year.