Thank you for contacting me about supporting people to quit smoking.
It is encouraging that research has shown that smoking rates among adults and young people are at their lowest ever level.
This has been achieved through the implementation of a comprehensive tobacco control strategy. We have a proven track record in reducing harm caused by tobacco, through the introduction of standardised packaging, the display ban on tobacco in small shops, and ending smoking in cars with children.
A new tobacco control plan is being developed, which will build on previous success and continue to support people to stop smoking. The plan will focus on tackling health inequalities and supporting priority groups, including people with mental health problems, where smoking rates remain high.
The United Kingdom is a world leader in tobacco control and we need to maintain our proactive evidence-led approach. It is important that we take the time we need to review the evidence and ensure the plan offers the best possible strategy.
Councils will receive £16 billion of public health funding between 2016 and 2021. Smoking rates vary considerably across the country and it is right that local councils have the flexibility to consider how best to respond to the unique needs of their local population in providing evidence-based stop smoking services.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.
Updated: July 2017