In response to these reports RCPCH Registrar, Professor Steve Turner said:
We strongly urge our new Health Secretary to reconsider any potential plans to drop the upcoming smoking action plan to help UK achieve smokefree by 2030. Most adult smokers had their first cigarette and became addicted to nicotine before the age of 18. Once the addition is established it can be very difficult to quit smoking in later life. Smoking among young people is twice as common among those from disadvantaged communities compared to other communities and scrapping the smoking action plan would further compound already growing health inequalities.
As paediatricians, reducing harm to children and young people lies at the core of our work. Stopping children and young people from starting to smoke will improve their health and wellbeing in life. Smoking and nicotine addiction runs strongly in families, and we need to break this hereditary cycle of. We continue to urge government to take action on smoking, as well as children’s access to e-cigarettes. We already know that the most effective health policies focus on preventative measures targeted at children and young people. We need a fully formed smoking action plan that reflects this and call for the government to carry outs its intended smoking action plan.