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King Charles has reiterated Rishi Sunak’s plan to ban smoking in the UK by raising the legal smoking age by a year every year, meaning a 14-year-old can never legally buy a cigarette today.
At his first State of Parliament as monarch, King Charles said the legislation would create a “smoke-free generation”.
The Prime Minister had previously announced the plans at the 2023 Conservative Party conference in Manchester, detailing that the government will introduce a plan to phase out cigarette sales for the next generation, marking a major step forward for overall health in the UK would represent.
The prime minister also pledged to stop the sale of disposable vapes to children and said more needed to be done to limit their availability to under-18s.
Mr Sunak said in his speech: “Four out of five smokers started smoking by the age of 20. Later, the vast majority try to quit, but many fail because they are addicted and wish they had never started smoking.” Location.
“If we could break this cycle – if we could stop the beginning – then we would be on the way to ending the largest cause of preventable death and disease in our country.
“I propose that in the future we increase the smoking age by one year every year. This means that a 14-year-old today will never be legally sold a cigarette and that he and his generation can grow up smoke-free.”
Following the Prime Minister’s announcement, here’s a look at the current UK smoking laws and how they could change:
People under the age of 14 will never be allowed to smoke legally again under the new proposals
What are the current smoking laws in the UK?
The legal age to buy cigarettes and other tobacco products is 18 across the UK, having been raised to 16 by the last Labor government in 2007.
In July 2007, smoking was banned in all pubs, restaurants, nightclubs and most workplaces and work vehicles across the UK.
Currently, you must be at least 18 years old to purchase and use a vape in the UK. There are currently no statewide legal restrictions or laws governing vaping in public areas, and indoor use is generally permitted unless an establishment has specifically issued a ban.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said the measures would not take away the right to smoke from current smokers
How would a smoking ban work?
It is expected that the plan – which would effectively ban smoking – would follow a similar format to measures introduced in New Zealand last December, when the sale of tobacco to people arriving on or after December 1st was banned. were born in January 2009.
The reforms include a steady increase in the legal smoking age, making it illegal for the next generation to ever buy cigarettes.
Although exact plans are unclear, the UK is also expected to ban the sale of cigarettes and tobacco to people born after a certain date and raise the legal smoking age every year. If the UK implements the rules by 2027, no one now aged 14 or under will be able to buy a cigarette.
Mr Sunak told the Conservative Party conference that the ban would not take away the right to smoke from current smokers and that a vote in Parliament on the measure would be a “matter of conscience” without implementing a party whip.
Disposable vapes are also expected to be banned amid concerns they are being “marketed towards children”.
The Prime Minister told the Tory conference: “As all parents and teachers know, one of the most worrying trends currently is the increase in e-cigarette use among children – one in five children have used e-cigarettes. “We must act before it becomes endemic .
“Therefore, we will also propose measures to limit the availability of e-cigarettes for our children, paying attention to flavors, packaging displays and single-use e-cigarettes.”
Number 10 said that the consultation on e-cigarettes will consider restricting flavors and descriptions of e-cigarettes so that e-cigarette flavors are no longer targeted at children; regulating the sales presentation of e-cigarettes; regulation of packaging; and restrict the sale of disposable vapes.
Why ban smoking?
In 2019, the government set a target for England to be smoke-free by 2030, meaning just 5 percent of the population would smoke by then.
Last year, a comprehensive study led by Dr said smoking was worth around £17 billion – of which £2.4 billion went to the NHS alone.
Dr. In his report, Khan supported proposals to increase the age of sale, recommending that “the age of sale should be increased by one year each year from 18 until no one can buy a tobacco product in this country.”
The Prime Minister said in his speech on Wednesday that introducing tougher measures against smoking would “cut the number of cancer deaths by a quarter” and “significantly reduce long-term pressure” on the NHS.
reaction to the ban
Smoking rights group Freedom Organization for the Right to Enjoy Smoking Tobacco (Forest) says the measures are “desperate” and a “creeping ban on smoking”.
“These are desperate measures by a desperate prime minister,” said director Simon Clark.
“Raising the selling age for tobacco is a stealthy ban, but it won’t stop young people from smoking because the ban isn’t working. Anyone who wants to smoke buys tobacco abroad or from illegal sources. That’s the opposite of leveling up, it’s dumbing down.”
He added: “This is now a Conservative government in name only because the Prime Minister has just turned the principles of choice and personal responsibility on their head.”
Former Prime Minister Liz Truss also said she would vote against the measure. She said Monday it was time for conservatives to “stop banning things.”
Source : www.independent.co.uk