Promotion of cheap tobacco and alcohol runs counter to the government's stated objective of preventing ill health and reducing inequalities Health Foundation response to the Chancellor's announcement of return of EU duty-free

11 September 2019

Responding to the announcement from the Chancellor and HM Treasury, Dr Jennifer Dixon, Chief Executive at the Health Foundation said:

'The promotion of cheap alcohol and tobacco by the Treasury is at best ironic given that reducing alcohol consumption and smoking is a central plank of government health policy – tobacco use remains the leading cause of death in the UK. The promotion of tobacco and alcohol in this way runs counter to the government’s stated objective of preventing ill health and reducing inequalities.

'The implied notion that a no-deal Brexit is in the offing, and its promotion to the public through advertising cheap duty-free goods, surely runs counter to the responsibility of civil servants to be politically impartial, especially at a time when a general election may be imminent.

'As we understand, government policy is to leave the EU on 31 October, preferably with a deal but having prepared to mitigate the worst effects of no-deal if not. There is therefore no justification to promote no-deal and its dubious benefits in this way, unless of course government policy has changed.'

Media contact

Simon Perry
020 7257 2093

Notes to editors

Yesterday, the Health Foundation set out the need for a whole-government approach to the nation’s health in a report, Creating Healthy Lives.


Creating healthy lives

September 2019

This publication makes the case for an ambitious, whole-government approach to long-term investment...


Social determinants of health

The social (or wider) determinants of health refer to the social, cultural, political, economic,...

You might also like...


Event: We like phones more than people

In line with the latest government advice to reduce the spread of COVID-19 we are postponing this...

Newsletter feature

Three projects that have successfully spread virtual consultations

We shine a spotlight on three of our improvement projects that are playing a key role in rolling out...

Newsletter feature

Using virtual consultations in the fight against COVID-19

We spoke to Professor Greenhalgh about the rapid implementation of virtual consultations in response...

Kjell-bubble-diagramArtboard 101

Work with us

We look for talented and passionate individuals as everyone at the Health Foundation has an important role to play.

View current vacancies
Artboard 101 copy 2

The Q community

Q is an initiative connecting people with improvement expertise across the UK.

Find out more