To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to reduce lung health inequalities in deprived areas.
Two of the most significant respiratory health issues that impact deprived areas are poor air quality and smoking.
Minimising health inequalities is a core part of Public Health England’s (PHE’s) Mission and Strategic Vision for 2020. PHE was commissioned by the Department to review the evidence for effective interventions on air quality and provide recommendations that will significantly reduce harm from air pollution and impact on health inequalities at the local level.
PHE has also published a number of reports on urban design which aim to support reductions in air pollution.
Smoking is a leading cause of a number of respiratory diseases including lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and is the leading cause of health inequalities. The Government’s Tobacco Control Plan for England, published in July 2017, re-emphasises the important role of local areas in providing support for smokers to stop smoking. As part of a comprehensive programme of national and local tobacco control activity, this is an important means of tackling inequalities in lung health in disadvantaged communities.