This year, Chris Evans MP is pledging to be a smokefree MP on behalf of Islwyn.
In 2023, Cancer Research UK launched their #SmokeFreeUK campaign.
This campaign aims to put pressure on the UK government to take more drastic measures in order to tackle smoking and support those trying to quit.
The need to tackle smoking is paramount. According to Public Health Wales, smoking is the leading cause of preventable death, and in 2018, around 5,600 deaths in people aged 35 and over were attributable to smoking.
Cancer Research UK aims to create a smokefree future and they are calling on the government to ‘Stop the Start’ and ‘Start the Stop’.
‘Stop the Start’ aims to protect young people from smoking. Cancer Research UK are calling on the UK government to introduce a public consultation on raising the age of sale of tobacco. According to Cancer Research UK, nearly 9 in 10 people have reported taking up smoking before the age of 21, with smoking prevalence higher amongst 18–21-year-olds.
‘Start the Stop’ aims to increase services to help those trying to stop smoking or struggling with addiction. Cancer Research UK is calling on the government to fund public health campaigns and stop smoking services to help people who currently smoke to stop.
Most people who smoke want to quit, but smoking is an addiction, and, in most cases, there is not enough support for them to quit.
Chris Evans MP said:
“I am pleased to be supporting Cancer Research’s #SmokeFreeUK campaign this year and on behalf of my constituency, I have pledged to remain a smokefree MP.”
More must be done to support people to stop smoking. The UK government must fund more public health campaigns and increase services to support those wanting to quit. In Wales alone, it is estimated that treating smoking related diseases costs the Welsh government £302 million per year, NHS Wales has estimated.
#SmokeFreeUK is a crucial campaign that has potential to aid in addressing health inequalities in our society. With the current cost-of-living crisis, smoking continues to push the most vulnerable groups into poverty, costing them billions of pounds each year.”