Written evidence submitted by Fresh


Fresh is the comprehensive tobacco control programme in the North East of England, collaboratively commissioned by local authorities across Northumberland, Tyne and Wear and County Durham.  With partners, Fresh is working towards the strategic vision of making smoking history in the region by reducing overall adult smoking prevalence to 5% or less by 2025.  This supports the Government’s stated ambition of making smoking obsolete in England by 2030[i]


Fresh does not have any direct or indirect links to, or receive funding from, the tobacco industry.


Fresh is responding to this inquiry because of the important role that tax plays in reducing smoking rates, improving the health of our population, increasing tax revenue and reducing demand on health and social care servicesAll of these scenarios are essential if the UK is to recover from the coronavirus pandemic. 


Tax increases are one of the most effective population interventions available for reducing smoking prevalence and are the only tobacco control intervention proven to reduce inequalities[ii].  Given that the government has stated its ambition of creating a smoke-free England by 2030[iii], increasing tobacco taxation effectively is crucial.


Fresh endorses the response from Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) to this Inquiry and would like to draw attention to the following key points, most of which are already made within the ASH submission.














Declaration of direct or indirect links to the tobacco industry by respondents

As a Party to the World Health Organisation’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), the United Kingdom has an obligation to protect the development of public health policy from the vested interests of the tobacco industry. To meet this obligation, we ask all respondents to disclose whether they have any direct or indirect links to, or receive funding from, the tobacco industry. We will still carefully consider all consultation responses from the tobacco industry and from those with links to the tobacco industry and include them in the published summary of consultation responses.


We welcome the opportunity to submit evidence to this inquiry and look forward to following its progression.



September 2020






[i] https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/advancing-our-health-prevention-in-the-2020s

[ii] https://publications.iarc.fr/Book-And-Report-Series/Iarc-Handbooks-Of-Cancer-Prevention/Effectiveness-Of-Tax-And-Price-Policies-For-Tobacco-Control-2011

[iii] https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/advancing-our-health-prevention-in-the-2020s

[iv] ONS. Deaths involving COVID-19 by local area and socioeconomic deprivation: deaths occurring between 1 March and 30 June 2020. July 2020.

[v] https://ash.org.uk/ash-ready-reckoner/

[vi] https://ash.org.uk/ash-ready-reckoner/

[vii] DH. Towards a smoke-free generation: A tobacco control plan for England. July 2017.

[viii] “Keeping smoking affordable in higher tax environments via smoking thinner roll-your-own cigarettes: Findings from the International Tobacco Control Four Country Survey 2006–15.” JR Branston, A McNeill, AB Gilmore, R Hiscock, TR Partos. Drug and alcohol dependence 193, 110-116

[ix] Cigarette-like cigarillo introduced to bypass taxation, standardised packaging, minimum pack sizes, and menthol ban in the UK. JR Branston, R Hiscock, K Silver, D Arnott, AB Gilmore. Tobacco Control. http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2020-055700

[x] Branston, J.R. and Gilmore, A.B. The failure of the UK to tax adequately tobacco company profits. Journal of Public Health. February 2019.

[xi] https://www.who.int/fctc/en/