The Smokefree Action Coalition is a group of more than 300 organisations committed to promoting public health and reducing the harm caused by tobacco.
The group initially came together to work for smokefree workplaces and continues to be active on tobacco control issues. Following our campaign the coalition government published its Tobacco Plan in March 2011. This set out a comprehensive strategy containing ambitions to reduce smoking prevalence to 18.5% or less by 2015. This target was met and prevalence continues to fall.
NHS Smokefree Pledge
In January 2018 the Smokefree Action Coalition launched the NHS Smokefree Pledge. The Pledge was designed to be a clear and visible way for NHS organisations to show their commitment to helping smokers quit and to provide smokefree environments to support them. The Pledge has been endorsed by the Public Health Minister Steve Brine MP and the Chief Executives of NHS England and Public Health England.
Current smokefree strategy
Tobacco control is a largely devolved function across the countries of the United Kingdom, for example with respect to health, education and local government. However, some areas, such as excise tax, and international negotiations on the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, remain a reserved matter in which the UK government takes the lead.
In July 2017 the Department of Health published its new Tobacco Control Plan for England. The Smokefree Action Coalition was pleased to see a new Plan with renewed targets and actions designed to deliver a smokefree generation. However, the Coalition is concerned that no specific funding has been committed to deliver the actions and objectives set out in the Plan. You can read ASH’s detailed response to the plan here.
The Tobacco Control Action Plan for Wales was published in 2012. The Action Plan includes the target to reduce smoking prevalence in Wales to 16% by 2020, a target which is on course to be met. The Action Plan is currently being revised, with the actions and indicators set to be updated to reflect the changing tobacco control needs, with an emphasis on the key themes of prevention, cessation and denormalisation. ASH Wales has been involved in this process from the outset and has been calling for more ambitious targets to be included in the new version of the Action Plan, which is expected to be published at the end of 2017/beginning of 2018.
Scotland’s Tobacco Control Strategy – Creating a Tobacco-Free Generation was published in 2013. The strategy sets out a five year plan for action across the key themes of health inequalities, prevention, protection and cessation. It includes setting 2034 as a target date for reducing adult smoking prevalence to 5% throughout Scotland. It also includes a target to reduce childhood secondhand smoke exposure by half against a 2012 baseline within the lifetime of the strategy, which has been met early. ASH Scotland has been a key partner in implementing the strategy and is inputting into creation of the new national strategy to be published in 2018.
In February 2018 we published our latest strategy for the Smokefree Action Coalition, which you can read here. Please take the time to learn more about the Coalition and join us to get involved in helping to secure a smokefree future for our children.