Tobacco Control

Smoking remains the single biggest cause of preventable illness and death in England. (2 out of 3 smokers will die from smoking unless they quit). Smoking is the risk factor that contributes most to inequality in health outcomes and is a major driver of the gap in life expectancy and healthy life expectancy between different places. Half the difference in life expectancy between the richest and poorest in society is solely due to smoking.

In 2019, the government set an objective for England to be smokefree by 2030, meaning only 5% of the population would smoke by then. Without achieving this objective, the government will simply not meet its manifesto commitment “to extend healthy life expectancy by five years by 2035”. It will also prevent the government from fulfilling its ambition to save more lives as part of a new 10-Year Cancer Plan.

‘Breathe’ is the Yorkshire and Humber collaborative programme for local action on tobacco harm to ‘End Smoking Together’ to eliminate the harms caused by tobacco.

There is a strong evidence base to demonstrate the effectiveness of regional tobacco control delivery in reducing smoking rates. Localities can achieve greater impact and return on investment by working together at a regional level and having an overarching collaborative programme in place to enhance local delivery.  Its core principles are to provide:

  • Expertise in tobacco control and the ability and mandate to lead;
  • Effective relationships with local and national partners;
  • Coherent and distinctive programme of work based on 3 drivers for Ending Smoking Together
  1. Reduce uptake
  2. Increase smokers’ quit attempts
  3. Increase the success of smokers’ quit attempts & prevent relapse

Breathe works together on ten high impact actions in which local areas can continue to drive down smoking prevalence in their communities and reduce the many health, social and economic costs of smoking.

The ten high impact actions are:

  • Prioritise health inequalities
  • Work in partnership
  • Support every smoker to quit
  • Communicate the harms and the hope
  • Promote harm reduction
  • Tackle illicit tobacco
  • Promote smokefree environments
  • Enable young people to live smokefree
  • Set targets to drive progress
  • Protect and promote progressive tobacco control policy

For queries please contact:
CoI Chair: Emily Parry-Harries, OHID Lead: Scott Crosby


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