The Khan Review

The Khan review: making smoking obsolete

The Khan Review: Making Smoking Obsolete (published 9 June 2022) is an independent review commissioned by the UK Government and conducted by Javed Khan OBE. The Review sets out recommendations on how the Government’s ambition to reduce the national smoking rate to less than 5% by 2030 can be achieved.

Reducing smoking rates to less than 5% is essential if the Government is to achieve its manifesto commitment and Levelling-up mission “to extend healthy life expectancy by five years by 2035”, to implement an effective new 10 Year Cancer Plan, and successfully reduce the burden of health inequalities in this country.

Smoking annually accounts for almost 75,000 deaths in England, costing the NHS approximately £2.4 billion, and is the leading cause of the 10 year difference in life expectancy between the richest and poor.

The Khan Review was commissioned to “assess the options to be taken forward in the new Tobacco Control Plan, which will be published later this year.”

The Khan review’s 15 recommendations are summarised here, including four critical recommendations set out below:

1) Urgently invest £125 million per year in a comprehensive smokefree 2030 programme. Options to fund this include a ‘polluter pays’ levy.

2) Raise the age of sale of tobacco by one year, every year.

3) Offer vaping as a substitute for smoking, alongside accurate information on the benefits of switching, including to healthcare professionals.

4) The NHS needs to prioritise prevention with further action to stop people from smoking, providing support and treatment across all of its services, including primary care.

Khan concludes that: “Taken together, and if implemented in full, I believe these actions will get the government to its 2030 target and then lead to a smokefree generation.”

The APPG on Smoking and Health has previously  recommended a ‘Polluter Pays Levy’ to provide the funding needed to achieve a smokefree 2030. You can show your support for this policy by endorsing the APPG’s recommendations here.

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