Smokefree 2030 has been hitting the headlines a lot recently.
Back in June, Oxfordshire council announced their accelerated plans to be the first county in the UK to go smoke-free, by cracking down on smoking outside bars, restaurants and workplaces by 2025.
It’s not looking so positive for the rest of the country though, with the latest figures suggesting that England is set to miss the Government’s ambitious target by at least 7 years, with huge health inequalities between the country’s richest and poorest communities being the main barrier.
But what exactly does Smokefree 2030 mean, and how will it affect the vaping community? Here’s a round-up of everything we know so far.
What is Smokefree 2030?
According to the plans, the country will be classed as smoke-free once smoking rates fall below 5%, at which point the habit is deemed “unusual”.
Luckily for vapers, it will also be viewed as a success if smokers have switched to reduced risk alternatives, including e-cigarettes.
However, the World Health Organisation has published several articles calling for countries around the world to subject vaping to the same harsh restrictions we impose on tobacco products.
So what does it mean for vaping?
Despite the lack of evidence to back up the WHO’s stance on vaping, they remain an influential voice in the realm of public health.
Sajid Javid, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, also recently announced that he is ready to launch the next stage of Smokefree 2030, starting with a ban on the sale of tobacco and e-cigarettes to under 21s.
This doesn’t match up with the roadmap originally proposed by the Government, which classes vaping as a reduced risk, smoke-free alternative to cigarettes.
It also contradicts all the scientific evidence we’ve seen so far, with Public Health England once again having to reiterate the fact that vaping is at least 95% safer than smoking, whilst the NHS also recommends e-cigarettes as a reliable tool for quitting successfully.
The only way England will reach its target now is by dropping the smoking rate 40% quicker than projected, something that would be far more achievable if everyone worked together to improve the accessibility of vaping.
Besides, a ban on smoking alone simply doesn’t solve the problem.
It’s estimated in the UK that around 207,000 children start smoking each year, with around two-thirds of adult smokers admitting that they started smoking before the age of 16, despite the fact that it’s illegal to sell cigarettes to under 18s.
It’s clear that something must be done though, which is why the vaping industry was pleased to see the Smokefree Action Coalition pushing for changes to medical licensing, which would allow e-cigarettes to be authorised for NHS prescription.
This would be a really positive step forward, especially since smoking is most prevalent in the UK’s most deprived areas.
Around 70% of homeless individuals smoke tobacco, but a promising trial has been launched in various areas across the country to try and combat the issue, by offering free vape starter kits at homeless centres.
It’s hoped that the success of trials like this one will help turn the tide against the negative and unsubstantiated media surrounding vaping, creating a healthier and smoke-free population sooner rather than later.
Here at 888 Vapour, we’re dedicated to helping our customers quit smoking for good. If you need any extra advice or support with making the switch, our friendly customer service team and in-store staff are always on hand to help.