Intended for healthcare professionals


UK treads softly on smoking

BMJ 1999; 318 doi: (Published 02 January 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;318:9
  1. John Warden, parliamentary correspondent
  1. BMJ

    The British government's long awaited action plan to reduce cigarette smoking contains 20 initiatives, but apart from a statutory ban on advertising these rely on persuasion rather than coercion. There are no new restrictions or bans on smoking, but an emphasis on cessation through cooperation.

    The main innovation announced in a recent white paper, Smoking Kills, is a $60m scheme to help adults stop smoking, with one week's free supply of nicotine patches for people on low incomes. The scheme will begin next April in pilot areas where general practitioners will be able to refer people who want to give up smoking to a course of specialist counselling.

    Other antismoking measures target teenagers and pregnant women, against a background of what the white paper sees as the beginning of a new upward trend in smoking …

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