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House of Commons Hansard
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14 November 2017
Volume 631
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8. What steps he is taking to reduce smoking rates. [901814]

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Adult smoking prevalence is now 15.5%, the lowest ever. As the House will be aware, in July we published a tobacco control plan for England, which sets out stretching ambitions to reduce smoking prevalence still further and commits us to a series of actions to deliver those ambitions. Our end goal, as we have made clear, is a smoke-free generation.

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I thank my hon. Friend for that answer. Does he agree that one of the most effective ways of helping people to give up smoking is the provision of smoking cessation services? In Harrow, the local unit managed to help 4,000 people attempt to give up smoking, with more than 50% doing so, but the answer from the local council has been to close the unit—that is very ineffective. Will he take action to make sure that this does not happen across the country?

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My hon. Friend is right to raise the issue. Local authorities, not Ministers in Whitehall, are best placed to take local spending decisions, but they must be accountable for their decisions. That is why we publish information at local authority level on smoking prevalence and quit numbers, so that local decision makers can be held to account. We also offer them expert support from Public Health England. I have a strong feeling that he will continue to hold those in Harrow to account.

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21. I am a reformed smoker—it was quite a battle. What proposals do Her Majesty’s Government have to enlist people like me to help other people to kick the weed? We know how to do it. [901827]

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What a fine role model the hon. Gentleman is.

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What an offer, Mr Speaker! Sustainability and transformation partnerships in all areas are to draw up local plans across one NHS area, including on the public health prevention agenda. I suggest that the hon. Gentleman volunteers his services to his local STP; I suspect it will take his hand off.