More than 120 public health-related organisations have joined Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) to call on the UK government to impose an annual levy on tobacco companies. They have published a five-year tobacco strategy entitled Smoking Still Kills. The money raised from tobacco companies would pay for evidence-based measures to reduce smoking. These include media campaigns and stop smoking services. This could save tens of thousands of lives over the next decade and help to reduce costs to the NHS from preventable ill-health.
Every year smoking costs the NHS at least £2 billion and a further £10.8 billion in wider costs to society, including social care costs of over £1 billion. Peter Kellner Chair of the report’s Editorial Board and President, YouGov, said: “The NHS is facing an acute funding shortage and any serious strategy to address this must tackle the causes of preventable ill-health. “The tobacco companies, which last year made over a £1 billion in profit, are responsible for the premature deaths of 80,000 people in England each year, and should be forced to pay for the harm they cause.”
“Investing in evidence-based measures that reduce smoking is highly cost-effective; for example, Stop Smoking Services have been shown to be one of the most cost-effective ways to improve people’s health. Placing a levy on tobacco companies to fund such work is a win-win, saving both money and lives.” Read full article
Blackmore Vale Magazine (11 June 2015) New report says tobacco companies must pay to cut smoking [online magazine]. Retrieved from http://tinyurl.com/nkmnert