Dr Javed Khan has published his independent review into the Government’s ambition to make England smoke-free by 2030.
The review was commissioned by the Secretary of State for Health, Sajid Javid, to help the Government decide on the most impactful interventions for tackling the stark health disparities associated with tobacco use.
It also assesses the options to be taken forward in the new Tobacco Control Plan to deliver a Smokefree 2030, which will be published later this year.
Clea Harmer, Chief Executive of Sands, is Co-Chair of the Smoking in Pregnancy Challenge Group, a coalition of organisations committed to reducing rates of smoking in pregnancy.
“The Khan Review’s ambitious vision for change is vital for pregnant women and their families. Smoking is a leading cause of poor birth outcomes and the Government are unlikely to meet their past pledges to reduce rates to under 6% by 2022.
“Specifically, the call to invest in financial incentives to help pregnant smokers is great news. Incentive schemes more than double a woman’s chance of successfully quitting and is something we have long called for in addition to behavioural support and medication.
“Smoking is an addiction and stopping is not easy. We want to make sure that any woman struggling to stop smoking gets the support she needs. We must use every tool we have to secure lifesaving smoke-free pregnancies.”
- Clea Harmer
Why is this important?
When a woman smokes during pregnancy or when she is exposed to second-hand smoke, oxygen to the baby is restricted making the baby's heart work faster and exposing them to harmful toxins. As a result, exposure to smoke in pregnancy is responsible for an increased rate of stillbirths, miscarriages and birth defects.
There is widespread public support for measures to end smoking. A 2022 YouGov survey commissioned by ASH, found that around three quarters (74%) of the public support the Government’s Smokefree 2030 ambition.
Support for you
The NHS offers a range of support and information for anyone who wants to stop smoking.
Sands is here to support anyone affected by pregnancy loss or the death of a baby.