Data is about to be published by Guernsey public health services indicating that 10% of deaths of people aged 35 and over in the Bailiwick of Guernsey can be attributed to smoking.
The data was revealed during a general update by the President of Health & Social Care during the latest States sitting.
“Smoking is still an important cause of ill health and death,” said Deputy Al Brouard. “For example, data from public health services to be published shortly has shown that between 2019 and 2021 10% of deaths in people aged 35 and above were estimated to be smoking attributable.”
He said this equates to 175 deaths over the three-year period or approximately 58 per year.
“Simply instructing people to stop smoking is not effective,” he said.“We need to continue to work towards creating an environment for health through an integrated programme of health in all policies.”
Pictured: Deputy Brouard.
He was asked if banning tobacco outright could be an option by Deputy Adrian Gabriel.
“Would he [Deputy Brouard] agree with me that a healthy environment could include the banning of tobacco products in Guernsey, either outrightly or on a sliding scale as New Zealand has done, and could you commit to be working with other committees to implement that?”
Deputy Brouard said the sliding scale is not appropriate “at this present time” despite the Public Health Department keeping an eye on that possibility.
“I have a perfect right to [smoke]at the moment, whether we as a legislator wish to take that away... that will be one for the for the States.”
It wasn’t only smoking that came under fire during the discussion, the negative impact of vaping on people’s health and its prevalence amoung young people was also highlighted.
“Vapes at the moment in the UK are under investigation,” said Deputy Simon Vermeulen. “A lot of under 18 schoolchildren are using these and there have been detections of lead, chromium and nickel deposits found in vapes.
"Can I ask what the committee is doing to test that these are indeed safe for all people to use?"
Deputy Brouard said: “The tobacco control strategy for Guernsey and Alderney 2015 to 2020 put forward the need to move forward with regulation of e-cigarettes.
“It is very much on our radar. We have recently had a committee paper on it and we hope to be able to publish a policy letter later this year.
“There'll be restrictions with regard to marketing.There'll be restrictions with regards to the constituents in it.”
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