Minimum pricing mooted

| November 24, 2017

Setting a minimum price for tobacco products could be used as part of a campaign to reduce the number of smokers in Scotland, according to a BBC Online story.

The proposal was made after the Scottish government announced it would introduce minimum alcohol pricing from next May.

Public health experts in Scotland are suggesting, too, that raising the price of tobacco products and reducing their availability, in part by incentivising retailers not to sell them, might help tackle health inequalities.

NHS [National Health Service] Health Scotland and the Scottish Collaboration for Public Health Research and Policy (SCPHRP) at the University of Edinburgh have put forward these and other ideas as part of a new national tobacco strategy.

They want to see also mass media campaigns to encourage smokers to stop, and to reduce exposure to second-hand smoke.

They recommend that effective policy actions should focus on reducing health inequalities.

Twenty-one percent of adults in Scotland smoke, down from 28 percent in 2003.

However, adult smoking levels have been static since 2013.

And rates are still highest in the financially poorer areas of the country, with 35 percent of adults in the least well-off areas smoking compared to 10 percent in the most well-off areas.

Dr. Garth Reid, principal public health adviser at NHS Health Scotland and one of the study’s authors, said Scotland’s health was improving but that the gap between the health of the best and least well-off was widening.

NHS Scotland claims that smoking causes more than 10,000 deaths a year.

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Category: Breaking News, Financial, Harm reduction, People, Regulation, Tax

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