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 (FCTC), remain a reserved matter in which the UK government takes the lead.

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.

What we are campaigning for

The SFAC shares the Government’s vision of a smokefree generation and public support for Government action to tackle smoking is strong and growing. The UK is recognised as a world leader in tackling smoking and if we can sustain the progress in reducing smoking rates achieved since the last Tobacco Control Plan in 2011, we can achieve our vision by 2030. However, the lessons from the past are that this can only be achieved if government action is systematic, co-ordinated and properly resourced.

The SFAC strategy objectives are:

  1. Making sure the targets in the Tobacco Control Plan for England are achieved
  2. Securing sustainable funding for tobacco control
  3. Engaging the NHS and health professionals to support smokers to quit
  4. Supporting the delivery of tobacco control at the local and regional level
  5. Controlling the Tobacco Supply Chain
  6. Supporting International Tobacco Control
  7. Supporting Regulation and Appropriate Use of Reduced Risk Nicotine Products

National tobacco strategy in the UK


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. In 2018, the Scottish government published a five-year action plan setting out interventions and policies to help reduce the use of and associated harms from using tobacco. ASH Scotland has been a key partner in the development and implementation of Scottish tobacco control policy.