Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered at on 24 October 2023.

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Photo of Matt Vickers Matt Vickers Conservative, Stockton South

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is reduce the prevalence of smoking.

Photo of Neil O'Brien Neil O'Brien The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

Smoking rates in England have been consistently falling and are currently at 12.7%, according to 2022 data from the Office for National Statistics.

On 4 October 2023, the Prime Minister unveiled plans to introduce a new law to stop children who turn 14 years old this year or younger from ever legally being sold cigarettes, in a bid to create the first ‘smokefree generation’. This announcement was accompanied with additional funding, including £70 million extra per year to fund local stop smoking services and £5 million this year and then £15 million per year thereafter to fund national stop smoking marketing campaigns.

This is in addition to a range of other measures which we announced in April 2023, including a new national swap to stop scheme to provide vapes to one million smokers to help them to quit, and an evidence-based financial incentives scheme to help all pregnant smokers to quit.

We are confident that the new measures announced by the Prime Minister, in addition to the actions we are already taking, will set us on course to both achieve our bold ambition to be smokefree by 2030 and create the first smokefree generation.

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