The government of England is drawing plans to end smoking by 2030 in order to address the causes of preventable ill health.
As part of the plan, the government is initiating on promoting physical activity, developing guidelines on promoting sleep and especially focusing on people who have a high risk of diabetes. The policy plan is thus aiming to curb the number of years people spend in poor health.
According to reports, people are currently spending over a fifth of their lives in ill health, which is determined to be 19 years for women, and 16 years for men. Additionally, people belonging to deprived areas spend the longest time in poor health.
In order to overcome this, the government has addressed measures and drafted them on green paper. After consultation, the green paper will announce number of measures to tackle these problems, some of these include: any smoker admitted to the hospital will be offered to quit the practice, nurseries and primary schools will promote tooth brushing schemes, in addition to increasing ‘active play’ such as skipping, and travelling by foot or by bike; reviewing the evidence on sleep and health in order to develop a clear guidance on daily recommended hours of sleep and finally, augmenting the funding for diabetes programme, thus extending support for those suffering from type 2 diabetes.
However, the publication of the green paper was criticized as soon as it was unveiled before the announcement of the new prime minister. The criticism followed because Theresa May wished to announce the much anticipated green paper, while on the other hand, Matt Hancock, Health Secretary wished to keep it on hold until the announcement of the new prime minister.
“We’ve been waiting some time for these plans which appear to have been buried in the dying days of the current government,” reported Helen Donovan, of the Royal College of Nursing in wake of the announcement.
According to Donovan, the plan will instigate a disadvantage, as the money council which runs health lifestyle programmes will be cut.
In a statement released by Shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth, he claimed that the green paper was ‘extremely disappointing’ and recommended that the decision should not be pushed ahead by extending the sugar tax on milkshakes.
However the plan introduces no commitment in either introducing a levy on tobacco firms and also to stop smoking services.
The plan also draws attention to the government’s previous attempts to create a smoke- free society, by creating smoking rates to zero by the 2025, which at present as about 14%.
According to reports, the consultation on the green paper will take place until October 14, and the government’s response is expected by the following spring.