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article imageU.K. begins new health promotion campaign

By Tim Sandle     Sep 21, 2015 in Health
London - Getting people to quit smoking forms the basis of a new raft of health measures put forward by Public Health England. The health agency also has something to say about e-cigarettes.
The new public health drive is part of a promotional campaign called ‘Health Matters’, which was launched at Public Health England’s annual conference at Warwick last week. Throughout the campaign a series of resources will be issued to health professionals. First in line is smoking, based on the resource pack "Health matters: smoking and quitting in England."
With smoking, the primary aim is for England to produce a tobacco-free generation by 2025. This provides a clue that much of the campaign literature will be aimed at the under-25. In the U.K., although there is a continuing decline in smoking rates, it stands that around one in five adults still smoke and around 90,000 11- to 15-year-olds are regular smokers. The reason for focusing on the young is because most smokers start as teenagers, with an estimated two-thirds starting the habit before the age of 18.
Smoking causes 17 percent of all deaths in people aged 35 and over in England. The primary cause of death is lung cancer. In terms of geographical patterns, smoking is increasingly occurs in more disadvantaged groups and is the main contributor to health inequalities in England.
As well as conventional cigarettes, Public Health England is also looking into e-cigarettes. In contrast with Wales, which takes the stance that all nicotine products are bad, England’s health agency sees e-cigarettes as an important step in the process to quit smoking. Part of the health campaign will be centered on encouraging tobacco smokers to use e-cigarettes as a stepping stone towards quitting.
Following tobacco, the next wave of campaigns will be: obesity, alcohol, antimicrobial resistance, tuberculosis, early years and dementia. Together these seven issues have been identified by the British government as the top health priorities for England.
Commenting on the new approach, Public Health England’s Chief Executive Duncan Selbie, told a government website: “Health matters is part of our mission to provide user-friendly advice and guidance and, in particular, on what works. This is the first in the series and we hope it will prove helpful to practitioners and policy makers in helping people to quit smoking.”
More about health promotion, Smoking, Tobacco, ecigarettes
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