Leicestershire County Council backs Cancer Research UK campaign for Smokefree Fund to help reduce smoking
Leicestershire County Council has unanimously backed a campaign organised by Cancer Research UK to establish a Smokefree Fund to help reduce smoking.
A Smokefree Fund would make the Tobacco Industry foot the bill to help fund local tobacco control work, without letting them influence how the funds are spent.
Proposing the motion was Hinckley Liberal Democrat Councillor and Leicestershire Councillor Cancer Champion Michael Mullaney.
Michael Mullaney said "I'm glad that the whole Council supported this motion which seeks to help with reducing smoking locally and nationally. Whilst the number of people smoking has reduced over recent years there a still around 1 in 7 people nationally and 1 in 8 people here in Leicestershire who smoke.
"Tobacco smoking is still the biggest cause of cancer and death in the country so it's essential we continue to work to tackle the causes of cancer and the tragedy of early, preventable deaths from it.
"I like everyone else has sadly lost friends and family to cancer so tackling it is a cause close to my and everyone's heart.
Michael Mullaney added "Smoking adds to health inequalities with significantly higher rates of smoking in more economically deprived areas. Half the difference in life expectancy between the least and highest income groups are due to smoking in England.
"A Smokefree Fund, a levy on the tobacco industry to pay for measures to help prevent people taking up smoking and to help people quit smoking, is key to helping reduce avoidable cancer deaths from smoking. A Smokefree Fund means the polluter, the tobacco industry, is made to pay for the damage they cause to people's health.
"Thanks to Councillor Louise Richardson for seconding the motion and to all Councillors for supporting it."
Michael Mullaney supports the work of Cancer Research UK by being the Councillor Cancer Champion for Leicestershire promoting the campaigns of Cancer Research UK on the County Council.