Lynn Donkin, Bolton’s Director of Public Health, welcomes the public consultation on vital action for a smokefree generation to end harms from smoking

Bolton residents are now being invited to take part in a national public consultation seeking views on plans for a smokefree generation and tougher action to tackle youth vaping by reducing the appeal, affordability and availability of vapes to our children.

The consultation is open to anyone, of any age, in Bolton and across the UK, and includes proposals for a smokefree generation and to restrict child-friendly vape flavours and bright coloured packaging.

The facts are that smoking harms many lives in Bolton. It causes most lung cancers and increases the risk of many other cancers as well as causing stillbirths, asthma in children, heart disease, strokes and dementia.

In Bolton, smoking contributes to an average of 382 deaths per year and more than 2,200 hospital admissions for Bolton residents. No other consumer product kills up to 2 in 3 users.

Figures show that:

  1. Most smokers start as teenagers with 83% smoking before the age of 20.
  2. Three quarters of smokers would never have started if they had the choice again.
  3. Smokers who start younger have higher levels of tobacco dependency and suffer a worse risk of lung cancer and heart disease during their lives.
  4. There is support for action: 8 in 10 Greater Manchester adults support ending smoking – including half of smokers – with a target of fewer than 5% smoking by 2030.

The proposals being consulted on include making it an offence for anyone born on or after 1 January 2009 to be sold tobacco products There is also a focus on restricting the flavours and descriptions of vapes so that vape flavours are no longer targeted at children.

The measures set out in this consultation will ensure we continue to keep a downward trend in smoking in Bolton and bring an end to the harms caused by smoking.

It is important to recognise that whilst vaping can help adult smokers stop, there many concerns around children and young people vaping. Urgent action is needed to look at the price, marketing and packaging of these products to reduce their appeal to children.

We now have a chance to make a once-in-a-generation difference.

Everyone is encouraged to have their say and respond to this consultation – a vital step towards making smoking a thing of the past and to protect our children and young people.

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