Analysis carried out by charity Cancer Research has shown England’s target to be smoke free by 2030 is not being met. The charity believes the government’s target may not be met until 2039.
The plans for a ‘smoke free’ nation will be met if the number of smokers drops below 5 per cent. The charity report shows that by 2030 around 8.3 per cent of the population will still identify themselves as smokers.
Cancer Research has called upon Health secretary Steve Barclay to “continue his legacy” of bringing down the number of smokers. The charity’s chief executive, Michelle Mitchell, said: “Smoking remains the largest preventable cause of cancer and death in the UK, but the government has the power to change this.
“With bold action and strong leadership, we can ensure a future free of tobacco for reducing cancer and saving lives.
"We urge Steve Barclay to continue his legacy of being bold with tobacco control to reduce the number of people getting and dying of smoking-related cancers, relieve the pressure on the NHS, and save the country billions of pounds each year."
A spokesperson for the Department for Health and Social Care said: "The Government remains committed to its Smokefree ambition by 2030, and the action we are taking means smoking rates in England are at an all-time low.
"We are currently considering the wide range of recommendations set out in the Khan Review and how best to take these forward - with next steps to be set out in due course."