The Library briefing, the Smokefree 2030 Ambition for England, provides detailed discussion about the government’s policy on reducing the prevalence of smoking. Below, we have summarised key aspects of that policy, and parliamentary and press material to support the debate.

The Smokefree 2030 ambition for England

In 2019, the government published its green paper on preventative health; Advancing our health: prevention in the 2020s. Here, it announced an ambition for England to become ‘smoke-free’ by 2030 – achieved when adult smoking prevalence falls to 5% or less.

The Khan Review: making smoking obsolete, was published in June 2022. The Report found that “without further action, England will miss the smokefree 2030 target by at least 7 years, and the poorest areas in society will not meet it until 2044”. It made 15 recommendations to the government, including four “critical must dos”:

2. Increased investment

I have set out the case for comprehensive investment now of an additional £125 million per year in smokefree 2030 policies, to fund the easily accessible, high quality support that smokers need to help them quit. This includes investing an extra £70 million per year in stop smoking services, ringfenced for this purpose.

If the government cannot fund this themselves, they should ‘make the polluter pay’ and either introduce a tobacco industry levy, or generate additional corporation tax, with immediate effect.

2. Increase the age of sale

The government must stop young people starting to smoke, which is why I recommend increasing the age of sale from 18, by one year, every year until no one can buy a tobacco product in this country.

3. Promote vaping

The government must embrace the promotion of vaping as an effective tool to help people to quit smoking tobacco. We know vapes are not a ‘silver bullet’ nor are they totally risk-free, but the alternative is far worse.

4. Improve prevention in the NHS

Prevention must become part of the NHS’s DNA. To reduce the £2.4 billion that smoking costs the NHS every year, the NHS must deliver on its commitments in the Long Term Plan. It must do more, offering smokers advice and support to quit at every interaction they have with health services, whether that be through GPs, hospitals, psychiatrists, midwives, pharmacists, dentists or optometrists. The NHS should invest to save, committing resource for this purpose.

The government has said it is considering the Review’s recommendations. The government also said it would use the findings to inform a new Tobacco Control Plan, which it will publish in due course.

Parliamentary material


Written Ministerial Statement: Health Update

[ Khan Review ]

In 2019, this Government set the bold ambition for England to be Smokefree by 2030 – reducing smoking rates to 5% or less.

Today, Dr Javed Khan OBE published his Independent Review on Smokefree 2030, providing this Government with a wide range of recommendations for how we can achieve this ambition.

Tragically, smoking remains the single biggest cause of preventable illness and death across the country. There are still almost six million smokers in England – and two out of three will die from smoking unless they quit.

Although smoking rates have fallen, we know that they are currently not falling fast enough.

The Government is committed to levelling up society and extending the same chances in life to all people and all parts of our country. However, smoking is one of the largest drivers of health disparities and rates vary substantially across different parts of the country. As stated by Dr Khan in his Independent Review, at its most extreme, smoking prevalence is 4.5 times higher in Burnley than in Exeter.

Smoking is a significant drain on the household finances of our most disadvantaged families. In Halton in Cheshire, smokers spend an estimated £3,551 a year on tobacco, nearly 15% of their income. Reducing smoking presents a huge economic opportunity in higher disposable income and higher labour productivity.

Smoking is particularly high amongst certain populations, and one third of all cigarettes smoked in England are smoked by people with a mental health condition. Nearly 10% of mothers smoke at the time of giving birth, increasing the risk of sudden infant death syndrome by over three times compared to mothers who do not smoke. Further, the risk of stillbirth is increased by at least 60% if the father smokes. Smoking is also known to increase the risk of miscarriage.

Behind all of these statistics are individuals, families and communities who are suffering from the harms of tobacco. This Government is committed to doing more to help smokers to quit and stop people from taking up this deadly addiction. We also know that most smokers want to quit.

For these reasons, we asked Dr Khan to undertake this Independent Review to help the Government reduce the devastation that smoking causes in our communities. There are a number of recommendations in Dr Khan’s Independent Review. The Government will now consider its response.

There is a call for greater investment – from local authority-led stop smoking services, through to improved data and evidence. The government is already investing funding through the public health grant, but we will examine where we can go further.

There is a call to offer vaping as a substitute for smoking. Vaping is far less harmful than smoking and is an effective quitting device. It is recognised that there is much more Government can do to tackle the myths and misconceptions that surround vaping. We have worked with the MHRA to provide guidance to support bringing e-cigarettes to market as licensed therapies and this Government will take forward a range of work on vaping as a substitute for smoking in due course.

Dr Khan also calls for the NHS to prioritise further action to stop people from smoking. Smoking costs the NHS £2.5 billion every year. The benefits of focusing on preventing smoking-related illnesses, rather than treating them, are clear for patients and the NHS themselves.

This Government is determined to address the challenges raised in the Independent Review and to meet the Smokefree 2030 target. We know that more action needs to be taken to protect our people from this dangerous addiction.

The Department will now carefully consider the recommendations set out in this Independent Review. The Independent Review will help to inform our upcoming White Paper on Health Disparities, which we plan to publish this summer. To complement this, the Department will also be publishing a new Tobacco Control Plan in due course.

We would like to thank Dr Khan for his far-reaching work on the Independent Review, and for his clear and challenging Recommendations.

A copy of The Independent Khan Review will be deposited in the Libraries of both Houses.



Westminster Hall debate: Smokefree 2030

HC Deb 26 April 2022 | Vol 712 c201WH-


Westminster Hall debate: Smoke-free England

HC Deb 29 March 2022 | Vol 711 c277WH-


Electronic Cigarettes: Advertising

Asked by: Dowd, Peter

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the independent review report entitled the Khan review: making smoking obsolete, published on 9 June 2022, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of the proposal in that report to modify advertising rules so vaping products can be promoted as a less harmful product.

Answering member: Dr Caroline Johnson | Department: Department of Health and Social Care

We are considering the recommendations made in ‘The Khan review: making smoking obsolete’, including measures to help smokers switch to vaping such as introducing positive messaging through pack inserts and amending front of packet labelling on nicotine vaping products. The Department will continue to gather evidence on the potential merits of these measures and further information will be available in due course.

HC Deb 17 October 2022 | PQ 59830

NHS Backlogs

Asked by: Andrew Gwynne

More than 2 million people are affected by the backlog in cancer care. Smoking is the leading cause of cancer, and we know that a key component of tackling the backlog

is prevention. Given that, can the Secretary of State assure the House that no current or former tobacco lobbyist working in or with No. 10 will have any influence on the Government’s tobacco control plan, prevention strategy or planned response to the Khan review?

Answering member: Sajid Javid | Department: Health and Social Care

As the hon. Gentleman will know, all decisions are rightly made by Ministers. I agree about the importance of tackling smoking. The Government are committed to a smoke-free 2030, which is exactly why I commissioned the independent Khan review. I welcome its findings and we are carefully considering them.

HC Deb 14 June 2022 | Vol 716 c135show related items (2)

Smoking: Reviews

Asked by: Streeting, Wes

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how much the Government spent on the Independent review of Smokefree 2030 policies.

Answering member: Maggie Throup | Department: Department of Health and Social Care

Expenditure on the Review is approximately £45,000.

HC Deb 06 June 2022 | PQ 6836

Smoking: Reviews

Asked by: Streeting, Wes

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many full time equivalent staff from his Department worked on the Independent review of Smokefree 2030 policies.

Answering member: Maggie Throup | Department: Department of Health and Social Care

The Department assigned one full-time equivalent Grade 7 to the Review. Other Departmental staff have also supported the Review with policy, evidence and analytical expertise.

HC Deb 01 June 2022 | PQ 6837show proceeding show related items (7)

Smoking: Reviews

Asked by: Bradley, Ben

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to publish his response to the Independent Review of Smokefree 2030 Policies; and if he will make a statement.

Answering member: Maggie Throup | Department: Department of Health and Social Care

There are no current plans to publish a response to the Independent Review of Smokefree 2030. However, the Review and its recommendations will inform the Department’s health disparities white paper and Tobacco Control Plan, which will be published later this year.

HC Deb 20 April 2022 | PQ 150257

Smoking: Health Education

Asked by: Bradley, Ben

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, in the context of the 2030 smoke-free target, what plans he has to improve smokers’ awareness of (a) e-cigarettes, (b) heat-not-burn products and (c) nicotine pouches.

Answering member: Maggie Throup | Department: Department of Health and Social Care

A new Tobacco Control Plan will set out policy proposals and supporting regulatory changes to meet the Smokefree 2030 ambition. This will include new measures to improve smokers’ awareness of alternative and less harmful nicotine products such as e-cigarettes. Measures on nicotine pouches and heated tobacco products will also be included in the Plan. The Plan is due to be published later this year.

HC Deb 20 April 2022 | PQ 150256

Smoke-free 2030 Target

Asked by: Sir Charles Walker

What steps his Department is taking to meet its target of England being

Answering member: The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care (Sajid Javid)

I know that my hon. Friend has long been a passionate advocate for a smoke-free England, and I read his recent Westminster Hall debate with interest. Some 64,000 deaths a year are attributed to smoking and it is one of the greatest drivers of health disparities in our country. I am personally determined that we should do everything we can to reach the Government’s ambition of a smoke-free 2030. That is why, in January, I asked Javed Khan to lead an independent review into tobacco control. Once that review is complete, the Government will set out their next steps.

Sir Charles Walker: To get to a smoke-free 2030, for every 100 people smoking today we need to reduce that figure by eight, because “smoke-free” actually means 5% or less of the adult population smoking. Can I ask the Secretary of State to ruthlessly target the barriers that stop people stubbing out their last cigarette? We need to get the numbers of smokers down; otherwise, 2030 will be an ambition that is not achieved.

Sajid Javid: My hon. Friend is absolutely right. The smoking rate is currently 13.5%, which is the lowest on record. However, smoking remains the largest driver of health disparities in our country. The new tobacco control plan, which will be informed by the new independent review, will be looking to do exactly what my hon. Friend says.

Mr Barry Sheerman: As one of the original campaigners for a ban on smoking in public places, I fully support what has just been suggested, but can I go further and beg the Secretary of State to come up very soon with a plan so that every child, every person and every family in this country can breathe clean, fresh air away from the pollution coming from diesel vehicles and other sources?

Sajid Javid: The hon. Gentleman has long been a campaigner on this issue and I commend him for that. He is right to continue pushing. I do not want to pre-empt the outcome of the independent review because it is just that, a review fully independent of Government. However, once it is complete—I hope to publish it in May—we can set out our plans.

HC Deb 19 April 2022 | Vol 712 c1 show proceeding

Electronic Cigarettes

Asked by: Maynard, Paul

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he plans to bring forward legislative proposals to include vaping products within the scope of Tobacco Advertising and Promotion Act 2002.

Answering member: Maggie Throup | Department: Department of Health and Social Care

There are no plans to bring vaping products in scope of the Tobacco Advertising and Promotion Act 2002. Advertising restrictions for e-cigarettes are outlined in the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016. As part of our Smokefree 2030 plans, we are exploring a range of regulatory measures to prevent children and young people from using vaping products.

HC Deb 21 March 2022 | PQ 139329

News, blogs and press releases

British Dental Journal

24 June 2022

Government’s smokefree 2030 ambition welcomed

Vaping Post

21 June 2022

UK Plan to Push its Smoke-free 2030 Target Includes Vaping

Taxpayers’ Alliance blog

16 June 2022

The Khan review: making choice obsolete

14 June 2022

Smoke-free by 2030 – why vaping is a threat to young people’s lives

Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health press release

10 June 2022

RCPCH responds to ‘Making smoking obsolete’, an independent review into smokefree 2030 policies

Department of Health and Social Care press release

9 June 2022

Independent review published to help meet 2030 smokefree target

Faculty of Public Health press release

9 June 2022

FPH welcomes Khan review recommendations to meet Smokefree 2030 target

Dental Nursing

9 June 2022

ASH and APPG on Smoking and Health welcome bold Javed Khan review to deliver government’s smokefree 2030 ambition

The Pharmacist

9 June 2022

‘Smokefree’ target could be missed by decades without extra £125m, review finds


9 June 2022

Damning review recommends £125m-a-year NHS smoking cessation funding boost

NHS Confederation press release

9 June 2022

Health leaders welcome independent review into tobacco control

British Dental Association press release

9 June 2022

Dentists: Vaping not a silver bullet, given huge gaps in science


8 June 2022

England going smoke-free by 2030 depends on No 10 willpower

Association of Directors of Public Health blog

11 May 2022

Smokefree 2030?


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