Health warnings could be added to the inside of cigarette packs to help smokers quit


  • Quitters can expect to see improvements to breathing within a matter of days 
  • Every year around 76,000 people in the UK die from smoking 

Messages encouraging smokers to quit could be added to the inside of cigarette packs under proposals being considered by the government.

The inserts would set out the health and financial benefits of quitting and direct people to the support they may need, the Department of Health said.

Quitters can expect to see improvements to their breathing within a matter of days, a 50 per cent reduction in the risk of a heart attack within a year and save £2,000 a year on average.

A consultation launched today, which runs until October, is seeking views on the proposals and the design of the inserts.

Every year around 76,000 people in the UK die from smoking, which remains one of the leading preventable causes of illness and mortality according to the NHS.

Quitters can expect to see improvements to their breathing within a matter of days, a 50 per cent reduction in the risk of a heart attack within a year and save £2,000 a year on average

Quitters can expect to see improvements to their breathing within a matter of days, a 50 per cent reduction in the risk of a heart attack within a year and save £2,000 a year on average

Health Secretary Steve Barclay said: ¿By taking action to reduce smoking rates... we will reduce the pressure on the NHS and help people to live healthier lives¿

Health Secretary Steve Barclay said: ‘By taking action to reduce smoking rates… we will reduce the pressure on the NHS and help people to live healthier lives’

It is responsible for nearly 4 per cent of hospital admissions – equivalent to almost 450,000 a year – and tobacco-related harms are thought to cost taxpayers an estimated £21billion every year, including more than £2billion in costs to the NHS. Inserts are already used in other countries including Canada and Israel.

Analysis of the policy’s impact in Canada found almost one in three smokers had read the inserts at least once in a month and those who were exposed to them multiple times were significantly more likely to try to quit.

The government says that introducing pack inserts could lead to 30,000 more smokers quitting – delivering health benefits worth £1.6billion.

The consultation is part of the government’s efforts towards its pledge to get the nation smoke-free by 2030, equating to smoking rates dropping to less than 5 per cent.

Health Secretary Steve Barclay said: ‘By taking action to reduce smoking rates… we will reduce the pressure on the NHS and help people to live healthier lives.’

The consultation launch comes as the government today publishes an initial report on its Major Conditions Strategy, which covers the six groups of conditions accounting for 60 per cent of all ill-health and early deaths in England.



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