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« Thoughts on smoking, vaping and middle-class snobbery | Main | Public Health England chief vows to get "ruthless" on smoking »

PHE chief declares war on smokers

Further to yesterday’s post, The Sun has the story (above).

Nobody in England should be smoking within 12 years, a health chief has said.

The boss of Public Health England wants a “smoke-free society” by the year 2030.

Chief executive Duncan Selbie last night called for all smokers to be given help to quit.

He told the NHS England Expo in Manchester: “Smoking should no longer be seen as a lifestyle choice. It is an addiction that warrants medical treatment.

“Everyone who smokes must be offered the support they need to quit.”

The report includes a quote from me:

Simon Clark, of smokers’ lobby group Forest, said: “It’s laughable to think England will be smoke-free within 12 years.

“Some people will always want to smoke.

“It’s their choice and if you’re an adult you have every right to do so.

“Some smokers would like to quit but many smoke because they enjoy it and no amount of state-sponsored bullying will force them to stop.”

To read the full report click on the image above or click here.

Btw, we need to keep reminding people of the economic fallacy of Selbie's argument – that 'helping' smokers quit will 'free up almost £900 million a year, cash the NHS spends treating illnesses caused by tobacco'.

Where the hell does he think a sizeable chunk of smokers' hard-earned cash goes after the government gets its hands on all that tobacco duty (£10 billion plus VAT per year)?

It goes – ta da – to the NHS. What is the government/NHS going to do when that source of revenue dries up? They'll tax something else – e-cigarettes, certainly.

It would also help if the tobacco control lobby could be consistent in its relentless propaganda.

For years we've been told the cost of treating 'smoking-related' illnesses on the NHS is £2.7 billion a year. (Before that it was £1.5 billion.)

According to Selbie the cost of treating 'illnesses caused by tobacco' (note the difference) is £900 million a year.

Either way these are just estimates and calculations – unlike the sums we know are raised by the Treasury through punitive taxation on tobacco.

Anyway, Selbie has made PHE's position clear. Smoking, he insists, is not a lifestyle choice. It's an addiction that requires medical treatment.

Vapers, take note. Eventually, at some point in the future, PHE will come for you too.

Update: Mail Online has the story too, with my quote – England should have NO smokers by 2030: Health chief calls for millions of smokers to quit within 12 years to save lives and cut NHS bills.

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Reader Comments (8)

I won't be smoking in England in 12 years, because I'll be living in a more tolerant country in 8. Screw 'em

Friday, September 7, 2018 at 13:50 | Unregistered CommenterBucko

Selbie is lying about the cost of treating smokers. Public health always lies about smokers. The truth is public health costs far more to maintain than it allegedly costs to treat smokers. Even taking his fantasy figure of £900 millon, it is still far less than the annual £4.5 billion given to public health England. It's clear the financial burden on taxpayers is not smokers but lobbyists posing as experts like Selbie and hate groups using public health a front.

What happens in 12 years to those of us still smoking? Criminalisation, convicted for being a smoker and forced into a "smoke free" spice infested prison?

Public health is run by nutters and govt should not be pandering to these anti social lunatics with our money.

Friday, September 7, 2018 at 14:11 | Unregistered Commenterpat nurse

Selbie doesn't speak for me nor will he dictate to me what i enjoy. Many more will not tolerate this bullying.

Friday, September 7, 2018 at 16:28 | Unregistered CommenterTimothy Goodacre

Smoking is a lifestyle choice. The public health attack on smokers is outright persecution. The antismoking crusade is a witch hunt that relies upon lies, manipulated data, and exaggeration. Tobacco control's lies and corruption must be exposed.

Friday, September 7, 2018 at 18:32 | Unregistered CommenterVinny Gracchus

Of course smoking is a lifestyle choice but embarking on a life of addiction to nicotine and lungs clogged with tar is a choice only a deranged person would make. One must have sympathy with the pathetic addicts who, through lack of moral fibre, intellect, or both, are unable to quit what is a grossly filthy and anti-social habit.
Ridding the UK of the scourge of smoking by 2030 is a worthy ambition. Most normal people don't hate smokers, they pity them.

Saturday, September 8, 2018 at 15:47 | Unregistered CommenterAndrew McNair

Nobody in England should be smoking within 12 years, a health chief has said

Does that include people who smoke cigars and pipes and visiting dignitaries, or just cigarettes?

Perhaps he intends to ban paper and destroy all the many legal and smokeable leaves in parks, on farms and in our gardens with flamethrowers.

We read that prisoners have been smoking tea wrapped in the pages of Bibles now smoking is banned in prisons, is he intending to ban Bibles and tea?

If however, he intends to render tobacco extinct, the drugs companies won't like it, because they are using the tobacco plant to create vaccines and all manner of lifesaving drugs and have been doing so for a number of years.

Tobacco plants grown to treat HIV

"An experimental drug is being harvested in Kent which could eventually save millions of lives, researchers say.
Genetically-modified tobacco plants grown at East Malling Research are designed to provide a cheap and effective treatment for HIV and Aids."

And I'm sure we all remember the use of Zmapp in the recent Ebola outbreak.

Ebola Drug Made From Tobacco Plant Saves U.S. Aid Workers
5 Aug 2014
Sadly, now behind a paywall.

I should be very interested to hear Duncan Selbie's explanation.

Saturday, September 8, 2018 at 17:15 | Unregistered CommenterRose2

Who is making the most money from the sale of a tobacco product here in the Uk, big tobacco or indirectly through the eighty plus percent taxes, the NHS? This isn't just a campaign of outright persecution but one of real hypocrisy, on the part of the NHS. Attacking smokers does not work. I hope their campaign backfires

Sunday, September 9, 2018 at 1:30 | Unregistered Commentermollz

Stuff your pity McNair and your abuse. You know nothing about other people's lives but as usual, sanctimonious puritans harbouring a pyschotic superiority complex like you are happy to shoot verbal toxins at anyone who dares live a life without your holier than thou approval. It is people like you who are unacceptable anti social bigots.

Sunday, September 9, 2018 at 12:58 | Unregistered Commenterpat nurse

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