Calls for stricter policies on tobacco for Guernsey to reach 'smoke-free' status

Islanders are being asked to share their thoughts on policies which could reduce tobacco use to below 5%, a benchmark regarded as smoke-free.

The Health Improvement Commission (HIC) believes more control is needed over tobacco products to reduce the number of people smoking.

It wants to see less than 10% of islanders smoking by 2028 and hopes Guernsey can reach smoke-free status, that is fewer then 5% of the population using tobacco, as a longer-term goal.

It says this can be done in several ways, including increasing the number of smoke-free areas in the island and upping the age for buying tobacco products.

Lucy Cave, HIC Harm Reduction Officer, says over the last few years smoking rates have plateaued and to reduce them further, bold measures are needed.

"Engagement with the public is crucial to understanding what islanders want and to allow people to play a role in shaping Guernsey’s decisions.

"We believe that engagement can support better decisions that will benefit the health of the island."

This consultation focuses on tobacco products, including rolling tobacco, cigarettes and cigars.

It comes as the States of Guernsey voted unanimously to ban disposable vapes and under-18s from buying them.

Dr Nicola Brink, Director of Public Health is supportive of the consultation:

"The Health Improvement Commission and Public Health Services work really closely on a number of projects aimed at improving the health and well being of islanders.

The views of islanders are so important in informing what we should be doing. Please fill out the survey so that your views can form part of the island’s future."

To join the consultation, islanders can share their thoughts on potential policies on the Health Improvement Commission's website or their social media pages.

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