The Science Media Centre have collated a number of expert responses to today’s announcement by Rishi Sunak of stronger tobacco and vaping regulations.
You can read the full article here, I will just summarise some of the main points. There are more contributors and further comment than I have included here.
Prof Caitlin Notley, Professor of Addiction Sciences, Norwich Medical School, University of East Anglia, said:
“Prevention is extremely important, but we must not forget that this is just one aspect of striving towards a smokefree 2030. We must also continue efforts to promote smoking cessation to adults who smoke at every opportunity, and this means using innovative ways to intervene, meeting people ‘where they are’, and sustained investment in harm reduction approaches such as the ‘swap to stop’ scheme”
Dr Debbie Robson, Senior Lecturer in Tobacco Harm Reduction at King’s College London said:
“What’s less clear is the role that new restrictions on vaping will play. Like many in the sector, we have been calling for action for some time to curb the availability, access and affordability of vaping products, and measures designed to curb young people vaping are very welcome, particularly where point of display and packaging are concerned. However, it is vital that any new restrictions do not disadvantage people who have switched from smoking to vaping. If the PM truly wants to address the leading preventable cause of death, people who currently smoke need an alternative to cigarettes.”
Prof Lion Shahab, Professor of Health Psychology and Co-Director of the UCL Tobacco and Alcohol Research Group, University College London (UCL), said:
While comprehensive support needs to be provided, and properly funded, to those currently still smoking to give them the best chance to avoid unnecessary morbidity and mortality in the near future, legislation to ensure a smokefree generation will save millions of lives, reduce health inequalities and improve well-being for the whole UK population.”
Michelle Mitchell, Cancer Research UK’s chief executive, said:
“We urge all MPs to support the legislation so the UK Government can swiftly raise the age of sale. The Government should also invest more money in stop smoking services and public health campaigns, by introducing a ‘polluter pays’ approach, so that the tobacco industry is made to pick up the bill for the damage it causes.”
Dr Sharon Cox, Principal Research Fellow in Behavioural Science, Tobacco and Alcohol Research Group, University College London (UCL), said:
“Smoking is an addiction of childhood. People start when they are young, when the harms feel distal, and many continue into adulthood when they find it hard to stop. Making it more difficult for children to start is therefore a welcome step. But we cannot be complacent, we now need more investment in stop-smoking services and wider prevention measures, so we can help the millions of people who are still smoking.”
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