§ Dr. Stoate
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he is taking to promote and facilitate(a) exercise programmes in the community and (b) other cardiovascular disease prevention initiatives. 
§ Ms Blears
The Government is committed to reducing the death rate from coronary heart disease (CHD) and stroke and related diseases in people under 75 by at least 40 per cent., to 83.8 deaths per 100,000 population, by 2010. Prevention of CHD in the population and in high-risk patients by promoting physical activity, promoting healthy eating, reducing overweight and obesity and reducing smoking can make a significant contribution to this target.
In order to inform and lead action on exercise across the National Health Service, the Department of Health, Sport England and the Countryside Agency are funding a £2.5 million programme of local exercise action pilots (LEAPs). The nine pilots, which will run for two years and are located in each of the nine English regions go live in September of this year.
The Department of Health is also working with other Government Departments to implement a sport and physical activity board, to begin raising mass participation for young people and adults, particularly women and the elderly.
The Department of Health is delivering a range of programmes and activities in line with policy commitments to promote healthy eating. Action includes the food and health action plan, the five-a-day programme and work with industry and the Food Standards Agency on salt, fat and sugar in food.
The tobacco programme of work is focussed on delivering a reduction in the number of smokers. Between April 1999 and September 2002, over 481,000 people set a quit date with the help of the NHS smoking cessation services. Among other action underway, we are:funding tobacco control alliances across England to ensure action is taken locally;increasing the visibility of health messages highlighting the risks of smoking, particularly second hand smoke. The European Union Directive on the manufacture, presentation and sale of tobacco products require tobacco products to carry larger and starker health warnings on both the front and back of the packet; andcontinuing the media campaign with hard hitting messages on the dangers of smoking.