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