Government insiders have suggested that the health secretary, Thérése Coffey, plans to break promises to tackle smoking.
In February, Sajid Javid had promised to bring forward the government’s smoke-free plan to before the end of 2022. These sentiments were echoed in April by Maggie Throup, then public health minister.
The public are also eager for change. Data from July 2022 showed that 74 per cent the public support the governments smoke-free plans.
Javed Khan’s review in June 2022 also gained significant support from the public. A survey of UK adults showed:
- 76 per cent support making tobacco manufacturers pay a levy to fund tobacco control and smoking cessation
- 83 per cent support requiring retailers to be licensed to sell tobacco
- 70 per cent support increased investment in public education campaigns
- 67 per cent support warnings on cigarettes
- 62 per cent support making seating areas outside restaurants, pubs and cafes smokefree
According to The Guardian, “Whitehall sources say the plan has been ditched since Coffey became the health secretary on September 6, 2022, and that it will no longer be published.”
In a comment to The Guardian, a Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said, “This is inaccurate and no decisions have been taken.
“We are currently considering the wide range of recommendations set out in the Khan Review and how best to take these forward. We will set out our next steps for the plan in due course.”