William Eichler 01 July 2022

Public support levy to fund smoking cessation efforts

Public support levy to fund smoking cessation efforts   image
Image: Andrey_Popov/Shutterstock.com.

Three quarters of the public support making tobacco manufacturers pay a levy to fund tobacco control and smoking cessation, a new survey has found.

New data released today by the campaign group Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) shows the level of public support for measures to reduce smoking continues to grow.

Published to mark the fifteenth anniversary of the 2007 smokefree legislation that prohibited smoking inside public spaces, the survey found that 74% of the public support the Government’s Smokefree 2030 ambition.

The research also found that there was a lot of support for recommendations made to the health and social care secretary for the forthcoming Tobacco Control Plan by Javed Khan’s independent review.

Three quarters (76%) support making tobacco manufacturers pay a levy to fund tobacco control and smoking cessation, and 83% support requiring retailers to be licensed to sell tobacco.

Around 70% support increased investment in public education campaigns, 67% support warnings on cigarettes, and 62% support making seating areas outside restaurants, pubs and cafes smoke free.

Deborah Arnott, chief executive of ASH, said: ‘Three years since the Government announced its ambition and over a year since a new Tobacco Control Plan was promised, there’s no time to lose.

‘Hundreds of children still start smoking every day and we’re nowhere near achieving the Government’s Smokefree 2030 ambition. Javed Khan’s independent review sets out a clear programme for action, supported by the public, now it’s time for Government to deliver.’

Bob Blackman MP, chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Smoking and Health, said: ‘YouGov’s fifteen years surveying public opinion show clearly that people want government to do more, not less to end smoking, and levels of support have grown over time.

‘A large majority of voters for all the political parties, including my own, support the Government’s Smokefree 2030 ambition. They also support interventions recommended by Javed Khan’s independent review for the secretary of state for health, without which the Government won’t achieve its ambition. The Government needs to listen to the public and implement ambitious plans to end smoking without further delay.’

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