DORSET’S Director of Public Health, Sam Crowe, has welcomed the surprise announcement in the King’s Speech to clamp down on smoking.

He told a meeting of the county’s Joint Public Health Board that the announcement should bring extra funding to both BCP and Dorset Councils for measures around tobacco products.

The Government’s announcement is designed to raise the age of sale for tobacco products ensuring that no one currently aged 14 or under can ever be legally sold cigarettes or other tobacco products.

Mr Crowe said that providing the measures were agreed by Parliament he expected there to be extra money to help local councils tackle under-age sales in 2024-25 and for public health services to ramp up programmes to help and encourage local people to stop smoking.

He told a Joint Public Health Board meeting that the measures were “very positive” to hear in the King’s speech.

“It will be important to get the best possible value for money out of that and we’ll look at innovative ways of doing so as soon as we have got more details,” said Mr Crowe.

The Director told the meeting as part of his routine report on his department’s workstream that although people are still catching Covid 19 the effects were less than they had been although there had been a couple of acute respiratory outbreaks, including in local care homes, which he described as ‘quite nasty’.