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UK government to ‘halve number of smokers’

1st February 2010

The government has announced plans to halve the number of smokers in the UK, a move that will involve the banning of cigarette vending machines.

According to the Department of Health (DoH), it aims to reduce the number of smokers from the current proportion of 21 per cent of the population to ten per cent by 2020.

Secretary of state for health Andy Burnham said that the government’s strategy is to target younger smokers and prevent them from being “recruited” at an early age.

“Now that we’ve banned advertising and will soon see an end to attractive displays in shops, the only remaining method of advertising tobacco is the packaging,” Mr Burnham continued.

The country’s chief medical officer Sir Liam Donaldson agreed with the plans, adding that the country must keep pushing for “a tobacco free-future”.

Approximately 80,000 deaths a year are attributed to smoking, which costs the NHS 2.7 billion pounds a year.

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