Ministers plan to wipe out smoking by 2030, leaked government paper reveals
Health Secretary Matt Hancock is set to call for smoking to be wiped out in England completely by 2030, a leaked government plan has revealed.
A Department for Health and Social Care green paper seen by the Daily Mail says ministers will vow to build on declining smoking rates and "finish the job" over the next 11 years.
The crackdown will reportedly include a pledge to get all smokers to ditch the habit entirely or make the shift to e-cigarettes within the next 11 years, while tobacco firms could be forced to foot the bill for stop-smoking services rather than relying on cash-strapped local health services.
Leaflets offering advice on how to quit would also be included in every cigarette packet under the plans being considered by the Department for Health and Social Care.
The Mail reports that Health Secretary Matt Hancock will unveil the pledge to make England smoke-free by 2030 next week as he outlines the green paper.
The document will say: "The gains in tobacco control have been hard-won, and there’s still much to do.
"For the 15 per cent 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."
The department will reportedly flag "pressure on local budgets" as it outlines a raft of proposals to try and help the NHS and local authorities pay for stop-smoking services.
One of the options said to be under consideration is forcing tobacco firms to pay a US-style levy towards the cost of services designed to help people quit.
Ministers are also set to call for a review of how effective heated tobacco products - seen as a less harmful alternative to smoking - are in helping people to kick the habit.
The Government has already signed up to plans to cut smoking rates in adults to 12% by 2022 - down from the 14.9% logged in 2017.
Smoking in public places was banned in 2007, with compulsory plain packaging for cigarettes brought in in 2016.