Tobacco control and smoking

National and local strategies (best practice)

Following the publication of the Public Health White Paper, the government published a Tobacco Control Plan for England (March 2011).  Throughout the plan the Government demonstrated its support of comprehensive tobacco control (1)

The paper set three national ambitions:

  • To reduce adult (ages 18 or over) smoking prevalence in England to 18.5% or less by end of 2015
  • To reduce rates of regular smoking among 15 year olds in England to 12% or less by end of 2015
  • To reduce rates of smoking in pregnancy to 11% or less by the end of 2015

In January 2012 the Department of Health published Improving Outcomes and Supporting Transparency - A Public Health Outcome Framework for England; three of the outcomes are related to smoking. 

  • Smoking prevalence in adults (ages 18 or over)
  • Maternal smoking
  • Smoking prevalence - 15 year olds

In England, tobacco control activity is guided by the Department of Health’s six strand approach, based on international evidence that a coordinated and multi faceted response to the tobacco epidemic is required to effectively tackle tobacco use.

Excellence in Tobacco Control, 2008, is an evidence-based resource for Tobacco Alliances issued by the Department of Health, which recommends 10 high impact changes (2)

With regards to stop smoking and other tobacco use services, there is a range of NICE guidance in place, including:

  • Public Health Guidance No.1: Brief interventions and referral for smoking cessation in primary care and other settings
  • Public Health Guidance No.5: Workplace interventions to promote smoking cessation
  • Public Health Guidance No.10: Smoking Cessation Services          
  • Public Health Guidance No.15: Identifying and supporting people most at risk of dying prematurely
  • Public Health Guidance No. 23: Smoking prevention in schools
  • Public Health Guidance No. 26: Stopping smoking in pregnancy and after childbirth 
  • Public Health Guidance No. 39: Smokeless tobacco cessation: South Asian communities
  • Public Health Guidance No. 45: Tobacco: harm reduction approaches to smoking
  • Public Health Guidance No. 48: Acute, Maternity and Mental Health Services

The provision of Stop Smoking Services is also governed by two Department of Health best practice guidance documents:

  • Local Stop Smoking Services – Service and Monitoring Guidance 2013/14
  • Tackling Health Inequalities - Targeting Routine and Manual Smokers in Support of the Public Service Agreement Smoking Prevalence and Health Inequality Targets


(1) The Tobacco Control Plan for England (2011) 

(2) Excellence in Tobacco Control, 2008  

Last updated Thursday, 16th November 2017