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Alex queries Government delay on Tobacco Control Plan

The Government have no date planned to release the long-awaited Tobacco Control Plan, answered the Prime Minister to a question put to her today by the Stockton North MP.

Alex asked:

“Yesterday in a Westminster Hall debate, the Health Minister said the issue at hand was above his pay grade. So seeing as the Prime Minister has the top pay grade, can she give us a clue as to when we will see the long-awaited and very late Tobacco Control Plan?”

Replying to Alex, the Prime Minister Theresa May said:

“I can assure him that we are working on the Tobacco Control Plan which will be issued in due course.”

Alex chose to put this question to the Prime Minister after months of the Government evading questions on the matter of when they would release the plan. The previous edition of the plan was released in 2011, and has been constantly put back by the Government.

The 2011 plan explained the Government strategy to reduce smoking through the new public health system, which included ending tobacco displays in shops, plain packaging on tobacco, and encouraging more smokers to quit by using the most effective forms of support, through local stop smoking services.

A number of MP’s including Alex Cunningham have put forward a number of Parliamentary Written Questions on this matter, to which the Government have replied that it will be released in due course with no commitment to a date.

Speaking after Prime Minister’s Questions, Alex Cunningham commented:

“It’s disappointing that the Government aren’t aware of the urgency around this plan. There were 78,000 deaths in 2014 which were estimated to be attributed to smoking. There is an average of 4700 admissions per day due to conditions that could be caused by smoking.

“Myself and other colleagues will continue to push the Government, stressing the importance of taking action. From the impact on the elderly to children having easy access to tobacco, it is too important to just keep delaying.”

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