Smoking

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered at on 23 May 2024.

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Photo of Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth Conservative

To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the health benefits of the proposed generational ban on smoking.

Photo of Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth Conservative

To ask His Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the cost saving to the NHS of the proposed generational ban on smoking from 2027 onwards.

Photo of Lord Markham Lord Markham The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

Smoking is responsible for approximately 80,000 deaths a year in the United Kingdom and causes around one in four UK cancer deaths. Smoking is one of the most important preventable causes of disparities in health, and a significant contributor to the gap in life expectancy.

Reduced smoking rates lead to fewer people dying from smoking-related diseases and fewer children exposed to second-hand smoke or living in smoking-induced poverty. There are four major diseases that together account for almost 60% of all ill health and early deaths attributable to smoking: chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; coronary heart disease; lung cancer; and strokes. By 2075, our modelling suggests that between 48,000 and 115,000 cases of these diseases would be avoided, improving people’s lives and avoiding the pain of loss for families.

Smoking also costs society £21.8 billion a year and puts a huge burden on the National Health Service. Our Impact Assessment on the Tobacco and Vapes Bill found that there would be savings of more than £2 billion, in 2019 prices, in reduced healthcare usage costs over 30 years from 2027. Health and economic gains are expected further in the future, saving the health and care system up to £18 billion and boosting the economy by up to £85 billion by 2075, cumulatively and undiscounted. Someone who avoids a smoking-related death can be expected to live eight to nine years longer as a result of this change, as set out in the command paper from October 2023.

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