HC Deb 09 April 2003 vol 403 cc330-2W
Chris Grayling

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what action his Department has taken following the publication by the Schools Health Education Unit of its report into trends in young people's attitudes to smoking. [106623]

Ms Blears

The surveys carried out by the schools health education unit are not based upon representative samples; therefore the results and any assertions about trends should be treated with caution.

The 1998 White Paper, "Smoking Kills", set a target to reduce smoking among 11–15 year olds from 13 per cent., to 9 per cent., by 2010 with a fall to 11 per cent., by 2005. Progress towards this target is monitored by a series of surveys of schoolchildren carried out on behalf of the Department of Health, originally by the Office of Population Censuses and Surveys and since 2000 by the National Centre for Social Research and National Foundation for Educational Research.

The methodology in sample selection used in the schools health education unit survey does not allow a direct comparison with the Department of Health commissioned data.

The Government is on course to meet the White Paper "Smoking Kills" target Smoking prevalence has remained unchanged since 2000 at 10 per cent., which is well below the 1996 level of 13 per cent. Nevertheless, the Government is taking positive action to tackle teenage smoking, such as: the Tobacco Advertising and Promotion Act 2002 provided a ban on advertising: the cigarettes smoked most by children are also those most heavily advertised. tough enforcement on under-age sales; on 13 September 2000 the Government launched an Enforcement Protocol with local authorities to ensure that the existing legislation on under-age sales is properly enforced. support for proof of age card schemes which protect shopkeepers and children alike. tougher new restrictions on siting of cigarette vending machines. public awareness media campaigns. fiscal policy: the high price of cigarettes is a particular disincentive for young people.

Chris Grayling

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the link between parental smoking and children taking up smoking. [106624]

Ms Blears

The independent Scientific Committee on Tobacco and Health, in its 1998 report, concluded that an enquiry from the Office of Population Censuses and Surveys' (commissioned by the Department of Health) showed that: young people whose parents smoke are twice as likely to smoke as children of non-smoking parents; and that young people who perceive no parental disapproval are seven times more likely to smoke than young people who perceive strong parental disapproval. A Royal College of Physicians working party report2 showed that prevalence of smoking among young people is higher in those living with a single parent and is higher still if the lone parent is a smoker.

1 "Why Children Start Smoking". An enquiry carried out by Social Survey Division of OPCS on behalf of the Department of Health HMSO London 1990. 2"Smoking and the Young". A Report of a Working Party of the Royal College of Physicians London 1992.

Chris Grayling

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many anti-smoking clinics have been set up in the NHS; and how many he expects to be opened in the next 12 months. [106632]

Ms Blears

The information collected centrally about smoking cessation services does not include the number and type of services in each primary care trust (PCT), as this is a matter for local decision.

National targets are set for the number of four-week quitters to be achieved; and each PCT is responsible for commissioning smoking cessation services to meet the needs of its resident population. Services are provided in a range of settings depending on local circumstances and needs. They include hospital or general practitioner-based clinics, where smokers receive group therapy, and one-to-one services in primary care and in the community.

The results of the services show that they have been very successful, with nearly 55,000 smokers successfully quitting between April and September 2002. We expect a substantial increase in the provision of smoking cessation services over the next 12 months as a result of our target for the National Health Service to achieve 800,000 smokers successfully quitting at the four-week stage between 2003–04 and 2005–06. Substantial extra resources, totalling £138 million over the next three years, have been made available to the NHS for this purpose.

Further details on the performance of the NHS smoking cessation service are contained in the Department of Health Statistical Bulletin 2002/25: Statistics on smoking cessation services in England, April 2001 to March 2002, available at http://ww.doh.gov.uk/public/sb0225.pdf and SH statistical press release 2003/0073.

Statistics on smoking cessation services in England, April to September 2002, are available at http://www. info.doh.qov.uk/dohIntPress.nsf/page/ 2003–0073/OpenDocument

Mr. Randall

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what targets are in place for reduction of tobacco smoking. [106515]

Ms Blears

The White Paper, Smoking Kills, published in 1998, set out the following targets for the reduction in prevalence of tobacco smokingTo reduce smoking among children from 13 per cent. the 1996 figure, to 11 per cent. by 2005 and 9 per cent. by 2010. To reduce adult smoking in all social classes so that the overall rates falls from 28 per cent. the 1996 figure, to 26 per cent. by 2005 and 24 per cent, by 2010. To reduce the percentage of women who smoke during pregnancy from 23 per cent. the 1995 figure, to 18 per cent. by 2005 and 15 per cent. by 2010. The NHS Cancer Plan, published in September 2000, set the additional target that smoking rates among manual groups be reduced from 32 per cent. in 1998 to 26 per cent, by 2010. The Priorities and Planning Framework (PPF), published on 2 October 2002—see http://www doh.gov.uk/planning2003–2006/index.htm—set out the priorities for the next three years for the National Health Service and social services and described what local organisations and communities need to do to plan for and implement the improvements. Three specific smoking targets were identified:

In the Cancer section:

"Reduce the rate of smoking, contributing to the national target of: reducing the rate in manual groups from 32 per cent. in 1998 to 26 per cent. by 2010; 800,000 smokers from all groups successfully quitting at the four week stage by 2006". The 800,000 target is for delivery through the NHS stop smoking (cessation) service.

In the Reducing Health Inequalities section:

"Deliver a one percentage point reduction per year in the proportion of women continuing to smoke throughout pregnancy, focussing especially on smokers from disadvantaged groups as a contribution to the national target to reduce by at least 10 per cent. the gap in mortality between 'routine and manual' groups and the population as a whole by 2010, starting with children under one year."

In the Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) section:

"In primary care, update practice-based-registers so that patients with CHD and diabetes continue to receive appropriate advice and treatment in line with national service framework (NSF) standards and by March 2006, ensure practice based registers and systematic treatment regimes, including appropriate advice on diet, physical activity and smoking, also cover the majority of patients at: high risk of CHD, particular those with hypertension, diabetes and a body mass index (BMI) greater than 30".

Guidance to assist local planners in achieving the PPF targets was issued on 14 November and can be found at www.doh.qov.uk/Idp2003–2006.