Agenda item

Agenda item

Stopping the start: Our new plan to create a smokefree generation in Manchester

The report of Director of Public Health is enclosed.


The Board considered the report of the Director of Public Health that provided an update to previous reports about the Tobacco Control and Vaping Programme and set out the response to the government’s proposals.


Noting that on 4 October 2023,the Rt Hon Steve Barclay MP, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, wrote to Directors of Public Health to advise them of the government’s future plans to control tobacco use and vaping. The letter was accompanied by the publication of a Command Paper titled, “Stopping the start: our new plan to create a smokefree generation.”  The Command Paper sets out the government’s plan to prevent addiction to all forms of tobacco, to support current smokers to “quit” and to enhance the controls and legislation around electronic cigarettes, with the aim of curtailing the worrying phenomenon of youth vaping.


The proposals contained within the Command Paper are the subject of a major public and professional consultation which closes on the 6 December 2023.


The Department of Public Health at Manchester City Council welcomes the contents of the Command Paper because smoking remains the biggest cause of preventable death in Manchester. Government estimates suggest that there have been as many, if not more, deaths from smoking, as from COVID-19 in England since the start of the pandemic. In Manchester, although improvements have been made, smoking rates are still higher than national averages.


Vaping, when used appropriately, could be one of the treatment solutions available to support tobacco users to manage their addiction to Nicotine and ultimately to “quit” smoking. However, Manchester is experiencing some of the social problems associated with vaping, in terms of youth vaping and a significant counterfeit market.


Manchester City Council and partner organisations had taken a whole system approach to Tobacco Control for many years. The well-established partnership programme had been extended to incorporate the phenomenon of vaping and is well placed to implement all the government’s recommendations and much of this work is already underway.


The report described that the Director of Public Health had worked with the Programme Lead for Tobacco Control to collate a Manchester response to the proposals contained within the Command Paper. These are set out in section 6.4 and the Health and Wellbeing Board are asked to comment on each of them. Pending any additions and changes suggested by the Board, the Chair, supported by the Director of Public Health, will submit the formal response to the consulation on behalf of the Board by 6 December 2023. The report presented the initial summary responses.


The Chair in acknowledging the importance ofTobacco Control and Vaping Programme, thanked officers for the work undertaken.


The Chair requested an update be submitted to the next meeting of the Board in January 2024, to set out what the intensions are for Manchester and the proposals to use the allocated funding from the Government.


The Board was advised that a bid will also be submitted for funding for the Swap to Stop Scheme. This will involve the creation of a focus scheme in Newton Heath and Miles Platting working with housing providers in those areas to identify and engage with smokers in those areas who are not known to the Stop Smoking service.


Members of the Board welcomed the report and acknowledged the challenge of changing the behaviour of smokers and communities.

The Chair referred to Section 4 of the report and asked if specific issues should be included in the Chair’s response to the consultation.


The Board was informed that there are different reasons for vaping which include vaping to help stop smokers for health purposes and vaping that is not that is related to criminality. The use of vaping has grown massively across all sections of the city and Trading Standards officers have helped to uncover an illegal vaping market and have seized a high volume of vapes in the process which have been linked to organised crime groups.


A member of the Board asked if there are sufficient resources available to address the behavioural change needed to prevent the take up of vaping by young people.


It was reported that a training programme is being developed for professionals, parents and carers working with children to help address any confusion on the safety of vaping. A North West School Vaping Statement has been published and is being disseminated and will be circulated shortly. The increase in the use of vaping will need to be considered separately to tobacco control. The update report to be submitted in January 2024 will outline how funding received will be used on smoking cessation and will include a focus on the increase in vaping and youth vaping and how existing resources can be used and where additional capacity may be needed for local approaches.


The findings of the consultation and anticipated recommendations expected from the Government will help to start to address youth vaping through legislation on the marketing of products, similar to those used for tobacco products. This approach will be as important as the ongoing related health work.




  1. The Board noted the report and agreed that the Chair, supported by the Director of Public Health, responds formally to the consultation on behalf of the Manchester Health and Wellbeing Board as set out in section 6.4 of the report.


To circulate the Chairs consultation response to all Board members and the Member of Parliament for each of the Manchester constituencies (as set out in 1 above).

Supporting documents: