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Humber and North Yorkshire Cancer Alliance applauds Tobacco and Vapes Bill ahead of third reading

16 May 2024

Humber and North Yorkshire Cancer Alliance stands in support of the Tobacco and Vapes Bill as it clears committee stage and moves towards its third reading. 

Humber and North Yorkshire

The bill, which passed its second reading on 16 April 2024, is a crucial step towards reducing cancer rates for future generations. As advocates for public health and cancer prevention, the Cancer Alliance commends the Government's commitment to tackling the root causes of cancer, particularly the devastating impact of smoking. 

Smoking remains one of the leading preventable causes of cancer, contributing to a significant portion of cancer cases and deaths in our region. Up to two-in-three long-term smokers are expected to die from a smoking-related disease. 

Smoking is also the single biggest avoidable risk factor for cancer. Tobacco smoke is estimated to be responsible for nearly one fifth (64,500) of all new cancer cases a year and causes 27% of all cancer deaths in the UK. The most recent statistics for the UK show that 19% of all cancers are linked to tobacco smoke exposure.

Stephen Eames, Chief Executive of NHS Humber and North Yorkshire Integrated Care Board (ICB), said: “The case for action on smoking is clear. We must do more to prevent ill health in the first place, not just treat it afterwards. This is why our partnership in Humber and North Yorkshire has set up a ground-breaking Centre of Excellence in Tobacco Control. Smoking is the single biggest cause of preventable illness and death in our region, costing our area £464.9 million a year with £57.2 million in health care costs alone .

“Cancer is one of the ICB’s top four priorities and affects a significant proportion of our population. As a system, we are working together continuously to improve diagnosis, treatment and awareness. Public health legislation, such as the Tobacco and Vapes bill, will have a profound effect on our work in this area in the years to follow”

The Tobacco and Nicotine Bill represents a watershed moment in the collective fight against cancer. By implementing stricter regulations on tobacco, this legislation will save lives and spare many families from the anguish of losing loved ones to this preventable disease.

Mr Kartikae Grover, Clinical Director of Humber and North Yorkshire Cancer Alliance, emphasised the significance of the legislative milestone, stating: “The Tobacco and Nicotine Bill marks a historic moment in our efforts to combat cancer. By reducing access to harmful tobacco products and promoting healthier alternatives, we are paving the way for a future where cancer rates decline and communities thrive.

Lucy Turner, Managing Director of the Cancer Alliance, added: “As advocates for cancer prevention, we applaud this action to prioritise public health. This bill sends a clear message that protecting our population from the harms of smoking is a top priority, and we stand ready to support its swift passage into law.

“Humber and North Yorkshire Cancer Alliance remains steadfast in our commitment to advancing policies and initiatives that promote cancer prevention and improve outcomes for patients and families across our region. Together, let us continue working towards a future where cancer is no longer a threat to our communities.”

Scott Crosby, Associate Director of the Centre of Excellence for Tobacco Control at NHS Humber and North Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership said: “The third reading marks another crucial step in consigning smoking to history. As the Tobacco and Vapes Bill progresses to the third stage and then the House of Lords, let us expedite its passage before the general election. The overwhelming public support demands nothing less."