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Volume 984: debated on Thursday 15 May 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what proposals he has for reducing the estimated 50,000 deaths caused every year by smoking.

The Government's policy is to seek to reduce the toll of preventable disease and early death associated with smoking by alerting the public to the dangers of smoking and by maintaining a gradual but sustained and steady pressure to reduce the amount of smoking. Measures to this end are among those under discussion with the tobacco industry in the current negotiations on what should follow the existing voluntary agreement.Once these negotiations are over we shall be reviewing with the Health Education Council future needs for increasing public awareness of the dangers of smoking and providing help to those who wish to break the habit.