Onus on Tobacco Firms to Cut Smoking

Onus on Tobacco Firms to Cut SmokingOnus on Tobacco Firms to Cut Smoking

Tobacco companies should pay an annual levy to cover the cost of helping people to stop smoking, says a news report by the Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) group.

Campaigners in Britain have warned of a “startling and widening” health gap in society – as Britons living below the poverty line are more likely to live in a household that smokes.

The group also wants the British government to set ambitious targets to make tobacco use less prolific nationwide. At present, 19% people smoke – but this should be slashed to 5% in the next 20 years, the group says, reports

ASH is the name of a number of autonomous pressure groups/charities throughout the world which seek to publicize the risks associated with tobacco smoking and campaign for greater restrictions on cigarette and tobacco sales.

It recommends that anti-smoking films be shown before TV shows and films which feature people smoking – especially if they are likely to be seen by children.

According to the group, tobacco firms in the UK generated profits of £1billion last year, and are responsible for the premature deaths of 80,000 people annually.

The report’s chairman, Peter Kellner, said, “Placing a levy on tobacco companies to fund such work is a win-win – saving both money and lives.”

The British Medical Association, which has previously called for a tobacco-free society by 2035, welcomed the report’s recommendations – and said smoking costs the economy approximately £2.5 billion a year in sick leave and lost productivity.

Prof. Sheila Hollins of BMA said, “As doctors we see first-hand the devastating effects of tobacco addiction, and have a duty to protect our children from an addiction that takes hold of most smokers when they are young.”