Adam Briggs, Senior Policy Fellow at The Health Foundation, said:
‘We welcome the Prime Minister's announcement today to raise the age of tobacco sales from 18 by one year every year. Smoking causes around 70,000 deaths and 500,000 hospital admissions in England annually and is the leading cause of differences in life expectancy between the most and least deprived communities.
‘Creating a smoke-free generation will have lifelong health benefits for young people, their friends, and families, reducing pressure on public health services, the NHS, and social care. If policymakers wish to take public health seriously, they must go further and implement wider preventative strategies.
‘The government should learn from tobacco policy and take bolder steps to prevent poor health from other leading risk factors such as alcohol and junk food. Meaningful long-term change will only be possible if these actions are part of a coordinated cross-government strategy for health that ensures everyone has the basic building blocks of good health, such as good quality housing, secure employment, and high-quality education.’
Notes to editors
About the Health Foundation
The Health Foundation is an independent charity committed to bringing about better health and health care for people in the UK.
020 7257 8000