Mark highlights importance of ongoing public health education in reducing smoking

26th June 2019

Speaking in a debate on heated tobacco products and their contribution to reducing harm from smoking, Mark Pritchard highlights the importance of public health education in the campaign against smoking.

I am grateful to my right hon. Friend for securing this important debate. As a non-smoker, I think there is nothing worse than sitting outside a café in London or Shropshire and having my lungs full of somebody else’s smoke, or indeed trying to walk to Parliament and taking in a street full of smokers’ smoke. Having said that, I am a libertarian—if people want to smoke, they should be free to do so. His substantive point on public health education is absolutely right: the campaign against smoking is not over. In my constituency of The Wrekin, 19,000 people still smoke. Does he agree that public health is important?

I do indeed. I will also comment on my hon. Friend’s point about other people having to endure smokers’ smoke. One point that the Government make in their response to the Science and Technology Committee’s report is that heated cigarettes are far less offensive to other people than combustible cigarettes.