Delivering tobacco control

Healthy Lives, Healthy People: a tobacco control plan for England, published in March 2011, sets out how tobacco control will be delivered in the context of the new public health system.

It focuses in particular on the action that the Government is taking nationally to drive down the prevalence of smoking and to support comprehensive tobacco control in local areas.

The plan includes commitments to:

  • implement legislation to end tobacco displays in shops
  • look at whether the plain packaging of tobacco products could be an effective way to reduce the number of people who smoke
  • continue to defend tobacco legislation against legal challenges by the tobacco industry
  • continue to follow a policy of using tax to maintain the high price of tobacco products at levels that impact on smoking prevalence
  • promote effective local enforcement of tobacco legislation, particularly on the age of sale of tobacco
  • encourage more smokers to quit by using the most effective forms of support, through local stop smoking services; and publish a 3-year marketing strategy for tobacco control

The strategy sets out 3 national ambitions:

  • to reduce adult (aged 18 or over) smoking prevalence in England to 18.5% or less by the end of 2015 (from 21.2%), meaning around 210,000 fewer smokers a year
  • to reduce rates of regular smoking among 15 year olds in England to 12% or less (from 15%) by the end of 2015
  • to reduce rates of smoking throughout pregnancy to 11% or less (from 14%) by the end of 2015 (measured at time of giving birth)