The UK government has an ambitious plan to end smoking in the country by 2030. The plan will have a particular focus on LGBTI people.
Health Secretary, Matt Hancock is likely to release a Green Paper on the issue next week.
In leaked documents seen by the Daily Mail, the government will aim to eradicate smoking altogether or at least have smokers switched over to e-cigarettes.
The government would require tobacco companies to include leaflets on how to quit smoking in every packet of cigarettes. It expects the companies to cover the cost of the leaflets.
Hancock will announce the plans next week. He will outline how the government is shifting focus to prevention rather than focusing on quit campaigns.
Even though smoking rates have fallen dramatically in the UK, the government acknowledged it would be ‘extremely challenging’ to achieve its 2030 target.
It admitted smoking rate had remained ‘stubbornly’ high among certain groups, including LGBTI people.
‘The gains in tobacco control have been hard-won, and there’s still much to do,’ the government document reads.
‘For the 15% of adults who are not yet smoke-free, smoking is the leading cause of ill-health and early death, and a major cause of inequalities. That’s why the Government wants to finish the job.’
Ending inequality in smoking
The government will also use independent evidence to determine if heated tobacco products are helpful in quitting smoking and reducing health harms.
Anecdotal evidence suggests one reason LGBTI people smoke is because to deal with the pressure of living in a world that stigmatizes them.
For that reason and because economically disadvantaged areas of Britain have higher rates of smoking, the government will look at addressing inequality.
‘Tackling these inequalities is the core challenge in the years ahead.’ the government document read.
‘If we are to achieve this vision of a smoke-free future, we need bold action to both discourage people from starting in the first place, and to support smokers to quit,’ the paper says.’