PHE chief declares war on smokers
Friday, September 7, 2018 at 10:44
Simon Clark

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.

Article originally appeared on Simon Clark (
See website for complete article licensing information.