About this event

  • Date and time Tue 5 Dec 2023 from 5:30pm to 6:30pm
  • Location Online

If you missed this episode, please find the on demand version of this Spotlight here: Book here

This spotlight episode aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the UK government's proposal to phase out and ban smoking in England, as announced in October 2023. It gathers a global network of distinguished experts, clinicians, and researchers - including Professor Sir Chris Whitty, Chief Medical Officer for England - to enhance participants' understanding and perspectives.

In the UK, over 14% of adults, or 6.9 million people, are smokers, with more than 80% starting before age 20. Smoking is the primary preventable cause of health problems and deaths, responsible for 64,000 annual fatalities in England. A 2020 independent review projected this number to reach half a million by 2030.

In early October 2023, the UK government unveiled a plan to combat smoking and addiction, aiming to create a smoke-free generation, safeguard children from health risks, and relieve the NHS burden. This plan includes phasing out smoking, offering support for quitting, reducing vaping's appeal to young people, and incrementally raising the legal age for buying tobacco products from 18, by one additional year annually.  

Join this one-hour webinar, where experts in the field will:

  • Explore the implications of this proposal and highlight issues surrounding the practical challenges associated with its implementation and its societal impact.
  • Understand how this policy may influence the NHS and public health in its entirety, all while contemplating the feasibility of extending this ban across the entire UK.
  • Consider the impact of this policy on the more vulnerable corners of our society.

This session will provide a space for a valuable and thought-provoking discussion on the future of smoking in England and be suitable for those interested in public health policies and legislation.


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Key speakers

Professor Sir Chris Whitty

Professor Sir Chris Whitty

Chief Medical Officer for England, Department of Health and Social Care, and Chief Medical Advisor, UK Government

Speaker's biography

Professor Whitty is Chief Medical Officer (CMO) for England, the UK government’s Chief Medical Adviser and head of the public health profession. He is a practising NHS Consultant Physician at University College London Hospitals (UCLH) and the Hospital for Tropical Diseases, and a visiting professor at Gresham College. Chris is an epidemiologist and has undertaken research and worked as a doctor in the UK, Africa and Asia. He was Professor of Public and International Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) before becoming CMO and remains an honorary professor.




Registration for this webinar will close 1 hour prior to the start time. You will receive the webinar link 1 hour before the meeting. Late registrations will not be accepted.

Webinar recordings will be available for registered delegates up to 60 days after the live webinar, via Zoom. The link will be sent 24 hours after the webinar takes place.

This webinar will be recorded and stored by the Royal Society of Medicine and may be distributed in future on various internet channels.

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