End Review of Tobacco Control Strategy for NI

Date published: 25 September 2023

The Department of Health has today published a final review of the 10 Year Tobacco Control Strategy for Northern Ireland.  

Department of Health Latest News image white text on a departmental blue background
Department of Health Latest News image white text on a departmental blue background

The review takes account of the separate report published by the Institute of Public Health which looked at the relationship between mental health and smoking, along with a report produced by the University of Stirling (and facilitated by the Institute of Public Health) which reflects on progress made in reducing second hand-smoke exposure in NI.

Professor Sir Michael McBride, Chief Medical Officer, said: “The end review reflects on the achievements and progress made in relation to tobacco control since 2012, highlighting remaining challenges and setting out further considerations for the development of a successor strategy.

“In particular, the review highlights the strides made in protecting people from second-hand smoke along with the overall progress made in reducing smoking prevalence with adult smoking rates falling from 24% to 17% over the lifetime of the strategy. The review also reminds us of the numerous regulatory developments over recent years, including those aimed at reducing children’s use of tobacco such as tobacco display bans and enhanced penalties for tobacco retailers who sell to children.

“However, it also highlights persistent smoking related inequalities and acknowledges new challenges posed by emerging nicotine products. The review also recognises the changing narrative in relation to tobacco control with many nations adopting measures which seek to eliminate tobacco use.”

“Work will now commence on a successor strategy, which will be co-produced with stakeholders and will seek to address these remaining and new, emerging challenges. Further details of how to get involved in strategy development workshops will be made available in due course.”

Notes to editors: 

  1. The 10 Year Tobacco Control Strategy for Northern Ireland was published in 2012 and, following mid-term review and subsequent pandemic related pressures, was extended until 2024. It is available on the Department’s website at Ten year tobacco control strategy for Northern Ireland (health-ni.gov.uk).
  2. The end review can be accessed on the Department’s website at Tobacco control - strategy and reports | Department of Health (health-ni.gov.uk) and the supporting Institute of Public Health (IPH) and University of Stirling reports are available on IPH website.
  3. The strategy is implemented by the Public Health Agency who set up a multi-sectoral steering group which includes representation from across government, the community and voluntary sector and the health service.
  4. The Strategy set an overall aim to create a tobacco-free society and set 3 key objectives: fewer people starting to smoke, more smokers quitting and protecting people from tobacco smoke.
  5.  For media enquiries please contact the DoH Press Office by email pressoffice@health-ni.gov.uk.
  6. Follow us on Twitter @healthdpt.
  7. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service For Media Enquiries Only between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.

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