The UK government is almost a decade behind achieving its target for England to be smoke-free by 2030, a new report published by Cancer Research UK reveals.
The report warns that, if recent trends continue, the target will now not be met until 2039. This is despite repeated warnings from the charity that data up to 2018 indicated the Government was already seven years off track.
The charity is now calling on the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Rt Hon Steve Barclay MP, to publish a plan for tobacco control. This must include more action to prevent young people from smoking, and more funding for the measures and services needed to help people quit.
Chief executive of Cancer Research UK, Michelle Mitchell, said: “Smoking remains the largest preventable cause of cancer and death in the UK, but the Government has the power to change this. With bold action and strong leadership, we can ensure a future free of tobacco for reducing cancer and saving lives.
“We urge Steve Barclay to continue his legacy of being bold with tobacco control to reduce the number of people getting and dying of smoking related cancers, relieve the pressure on the NHS, and save the country billions of pounds each year.”