If you continue without changing your settings, we’ll assume you’re happy to receive all cookies from the BMA website. Find out more about cookies
When you visit any web site, it may store or retrieve information on your browser, mostly in the form of cookies. This information might be about you, your preferences or your device and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to. The information does not usually directly identify you, but it can give you a more personalised web experience.
Because we respect your right to privacy, you can choose not to allow some types of cookies. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings. However, blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer.
These cookies are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off in our systems. They are usually only set in response to actions made by you which amount to a request for services, such as setting your privacy preferences, logging in or filling in forms.
You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not then work. These cookies do not store any personally identifiable information.
These cookies are required
These cookies allow us to know which pages are the most and least popular and see how visitors move around the site. All information we collect is anonymous unless you actively provide personal information to us.
If you do not allow these cookies we will not know when you have visited our site, and will not be able to monitor its performance.
These cookies allow a website to remember choices you make (such as your user name, language or the region you're in) and tailor the website to provide enhanced features and content for you.
For example, they can be used to remember certain log-in details, changes you've made to text size, font and other parts of pages that you can customise. They may also be used to provide services you've asked for such as watching a video or commenting on a blog. These cookies may be used to ensure that all our services and communications are relevant to you. The information these cookies collect cannot track your browsing activity on other websites.
Without these cookies, a website cannot remember choices you've previously made or personalise your browsing experience meaning you would have to reset these for every visit. In addition, some functionality may not be available if this category is switched off.
Our websites sometimes integrate with other companies’ sites. For example, we integrate with social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook, to make it easier for you to share what you have read. These sites place their own cookies on your browser as a result of us including their icons and ‘like’ or ‘share’ buttons on our sites.
It was less than a decade ago, but the days of smoky restaurants and bars are now bracketed alongside driving without seatbelts and a slug of whisky in a baby’s bottle.
Since the legislation for smoke-free public places in 2007 (a year earlier in Scotland), the tide has turned still further. Recent victories, in which the BMA has worked closely with other members of the Smokefree Action Coalition to support, include the banning of smoking in cars when children are present in England and Wales, with similar plans in Scotland. In addition, standardised packaging will be introduced across the UK from May next year.
But given that smoking still kills 100,000 people a year in the UK, it is only to be expected that public health doctors will be seeking to pursue further the battle for effective tobacco control.
At last year’s BMA annual representative meeting, London research assistant in academic public health Tim Crocker-Buqué made headlines with his call – overwhelmingly backed - to ban the sale of tobacco to anyone born after the year 2000.
He said at the time: I do not want our children smoking and nor should anybody else. If they haven’t already started, then let’s keep them smoke-free for life.’
At this year’s annual conference of public health medicine Dr Crocker-Buqué is calling for the Department of Health to be bold in publishing a new tobacco control strategy.
It includes reiterating the ARM’s proposal to limit the sale of tobacco products, but also closer scrutiny of the tobacco industry through a mandatory requirement to report on its sales data, marketing strategy and lobbying activity, and an annual levy on tobacco companies to provide funding for future tobacco control and smoking cessation services.
The motion also calls for stronger regulation of e-cigarette sales and usage. This matches the concerns already expressed by the BMA about the potential for e-cigarettes to undermine the progress made on tobacco control.
While it is recognised that e-cigarettes could play an important role in reducing the harm caused by tobacco, stronger regulation is needed to ensure that all products on the market are safe and effective in helping smokers cut down and quit, and that their marketing and promotion does not appeal to children and non-smokers.
Dr Crocker Buqué says: ‘About 80 per cent of people start smoking in their teenage years and they end up addicted usually for the rest of their lives. Banning sales of cigarettes for people born after a certain year means we don’t penalize people who are already smokers which might be very difficult morally and ethically.’
On e-cigarettes, he says: ‘At the moment having adverts which make it look glamorous to young people is undoing a lot of the work done for the last 15 or 20 years or so If you re-normalise smoking e-cigarettes to teenagers and then they graduate onto smoking combustible tobacco as adults that won’t have done them any good.
‘However it’s possible e-cigarettes might be used by current smokers to give up, so you don’t want to regulate them too heavily because they might be useful. There’s a balance to be struck.’