Smoking

Health written question – answered on 15th July 2008.

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Photo of Peter Soulsby Peter Soulsby Labour, Leicester South

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he has taken to reduce smoking rates in the (a) adult and (b) child population in each of the last five years, broken down by (i) socio-economic and (ii) ethnic group; what steps he plans to take further to reduce smoking rates; what funding his Department has allocated to the reduction of smoking rates in each of the last five years; what funding he intends to allocate over the current comprehensive spending review period; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Dawn Primarolo Dawn Primarolo Minister of State (Department of Health) (Public Health)

In England, tobacco control activity has been guided by the Department's six-strand strategy, based on international evidence that a co-ordinated and multi-faceted response is required to effectively tackle tobacco use.

National action on reducing smoking prevalence over the past decade is set out in the "Consultation on the future of tobacco control", published in May 2008 (copies of which have already been placed in the Library), and in the Department's annual reports over the period.

The Government have undertaken to develop a new national tobacco control strategy to further reduce smoking rates in the future. The current consultation will inform the development of the strategy, and includes questions on protecting children and young people from smoking, and on helping smokers to quit.

NHS Stop Smoking Services continue to provide vital support to smokers to quit. Local national health service bodies provide quit support that is tailored to the needs of local communities. A range of guidance has been published on the provision of smoking cessation services by the Department and the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE). In May, Communities and Local Government published "Working with Black and Minority Ethnic Communities: A guide for Stop Smoking Service managers".

Smokers can also quit with free support from the NHS Smoking Helpline and 'Together' programme which provide information, advice and motivation by telephone, e-mail, post or by text message at key moments during the smoker's quitting process. The NHS Pregnancy Smoking Helpline and the Asian Tobacco Helpline are also in operation.

The Department has provided the following funding to support the Government's national tobacco strategies set out as follows:

The following table shows advertising expenditure on the dangers of smoking from 2003-04 to2007-08.

Expenditure on education campaigns financial year Tobacco control (£ million)
2003-04 17.76
2004-05 25.00
2005-06 23.00
2006-07 13.50
2007-08 11.39

The Department awarded a grant of £2.67 million to Cancer Research UK (CRUK) under section 64 of the Health Services and Public Health Act 1968 to fund the charity's Light and Mild campaign in 2003-04. A further grant of £3 million grant was made in 2006-07 for CRUK's media campaign on the harmful constituents of second-hand smoke.

The Department awarded a grant of £5 million to British Heart Foundation (BHF) under section 64 of the Health Services and Public Health Act 1968 to fund the charity's media campaign in 2004-05 on heart disease caused by smoking. A further grant of £4 million was made in 2005-06 to BHF for a media campaign highlighting the dangers of smoking and heart disease.

In each year since 2003, £2 million has been funding allocated to the nationwide system of local tobacco alliances and the regional tobacco policy managers.

Financial year Financial allocations to the national health service for stop smoking services (£ million)
2003-04 41
2004-05 46
2005-06 51
2006-07 56
2007-08 56

The Department's grants to Action on Smoking Health under section 64 of the Health Services and Public Health Act 1968 are set out in the following table.

Financial year Grants (£)
2003-04 164,000
2004-05 168,000
2005-06 180,000
2006-07 185,400
2007-08 191,000

The Department's grants to the No Smoking Day organisation are set out in the following table.

Financial year Grants (£)
2003-04 250,000
2004-05 250,000
2005-06 250,000
2006-07 250,000
2007-08 250,000

The Department's grants to QUIT (an organisation that provides support to smokers who want to quit smoking) under section 64 of the Health Services and Public Health Act 1968 are set out in the following table.

Financial year Grants (£)
2003-04 20,000
2004-05 25,000

Future funding for national tobacco control will be subject to the outcomes of the new national tobacco control strategy.

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