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Smoking: Regional Planning and Development

Question for Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities

UIN 85243, tabled on 1 December 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, whether the levelling up white paper will consider (a) health inequalities and (b) the use of vaping devices as a solution to reducing smoking rates.

Answered on

9 December 2021

The forthcoming levelling up white paper will set out the UK Government’s approach to tackling spatial inequalities across the country in order to improve outcomes in places where they are weakest. Addressing stark disparities in health outcomes between places is a important part of levelling up, because people should have the opportunity to live long, healthy lives wherever they live. We recognise that smoking is a key driver of these disparities.

We are clear that the best thing a smoker can do for their health is to quit smoking and e-cigarettes have an important role to play to support this. However, while e-cigarettes are safer than smoking, they are not risk free. They should only be used as a tool to help people stop smoking.

The Department for Health & Social Care is considering a range of policy and regulatory changes to achieve our ambition to be smoke-free by 2030. These will be set out in our new Tobacco Control Plan, which we will publish in due course