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All you need to know about the Khan Review into Smokefree 2030

Dr Khan’s Review of England's Smokefree 2030 ambition is a stark reminder of the work still to be done.

By 2030, more than half a million people in England will have died from smoking if the UK continues with current legislation and tobacco control programmes.

On the 9th of June, Dr Javed Khan OBE published an independent review of the UK Government’s Smokefree 2030 ambition.

Smokefree 2030 is the government’s objective to reduce smoking rates from 13.5% to 5%. And while smoking rates in London and across the UK have been steadily declining since 1974, smoking still remains the single biggest cause of preventable illness and death in the UK – claiming the lives of roughly 64,000 people every year.

Aside from causing debilitating health issues, smoking places a huge strain on the wider population. Society is currently picking up a bill of around £17 billion while the cost to the NHS equates to roughly £2.4 billion.

The London Tobacco Alliance brings you up to speed with the Khan Review, his findings and the changes needed for the UK to become Smokefree by 2030.

Key facts from The Khan Review into Smokefree 2030

Khan’s Smokefree Review states that England will currently miss the smokefree 2030 target by at least 7 years and the poorest areas in society will not meet this target until 2044.

The North West, East Midlands, South Yorkshire, East of England, and the South West have the highest rates of smoking prevalence in the UK.

In order to reach this target on time, the UK must accelerate the rate of decline of people who smoke by 40% to reach the Smokefree 2030 target.

Worryingly, young adults aged between 18 and 24 who have previously smoked rose during the COVID-19 pandemic from 25% to 33%. This correlates with the link to the rise in e-cigarette usage found in ASH’s report published in August 2022.

Other key findings from the Khan Review indicate that people suffering from long-term mental health conditions are 26% more likely to smoke, whereas, nearly 10% of pregnant women smoke at the time of giving birth – data suggests that children of parents who smoke are almost 3 times more likely to take up smoking.

The report also states that those working in routine and manual occupations are 2.5 times more likely to smoke compared to those working in other roles.

The 15 recommendations from The Khan Review

  • Increased investment of £125 million per year in smokefree 2030 policies to fund easily accessible, high-quality support that smokers need to help stop smoking. If the government cannot fund this, Khan suggests introducing a tobacco industry levy or generating additional corporation tax immediately.
  • Increase the age of sale of cigarettes from 18, by one year, every year until no one can buy a tobacco product in the UK.
  • Khan suggests increasing the promotion of vaping as an effective tool to help people quit smoking tobacco.
  • To reduce the £2.4 billion cost to the NHS, Khan recommends implementing improved prevention methods such as offering smokers advice and support to quit at every interaction within the NHS and health services.
  • Raising the cost of tobacco duties (more than 30%) across all tobacco products.
  • Introduce a licence for retailers to limit tobacco sales.
  • Invest additional funding of £15 million per year to local trading standards.
  • Reduce the appeal of smoking by radically redesigning how cigarette sticks and packets, closing regulatory gaps and tackling portrayals of smoking within the media.
  • Increase smokefree places to de-normalise smoking and protect young people from second-hand smoke. This includes hospitality, hospital grounds and outdoor public spaces.
  • Offer vaping as a substitute for smoking, alongside accurate information on the benefits of switching, including to healthcare professionals.
  • Invest an additional £70 million per year into stop smoking services
  • Invest £15 million per year in a well-designed national mass media campaign, supported by targeted regional media.
  • Prioritise prevention in the NHS with further action to stop people smoking, providing support and treatment across all its services including primary care.
  • Invest £15 million per year to support pregnant women to quit smoking.
  • Address the issue of smoking and mental health with accurate information.
  • Invest £8 million to ensure regional and local prioritisation of stop smoking interventions through ICS leadership.
  • Invest £2 million per year in new research and data.

In summary

It is clear from this report that there is a huge amount of investment and resource still needed to accomplish the government’s ambition of Smokefree 2030. You can read the published Khan Review – Making Smoking Obsolete here.

At London Tobacco Alliance, we are accelerating efforts of eliminating smoking in London and tackling smoking inequalities through our coordinated approach with key partners and members. Our main objectives include preventing people from smoking in the first place, supporting people to stop/quit smoking and promoting smoke-free environments.

Join the London Tobacco Alliance

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