UK Smoking Ban for Those Born After 2009 Approved

UK smoking ban born after 2009

In a historic move to protect future generations from the detrimental effects of smoking, British lawmakers have overwhelmingly voted in favor of the government’s Tobacco and Vapes Bill. The landmark legislation, which aims to create Britain’s “first smoke-free generation,” will make it illegal to sell tobacco products to anyone born after 2009.

The bill, a key policy announced by Conservative Prime Minister Rishi Sunak last year, passed by a resounding 383 votes to 67. While the opposition Labour Party’s front bench supported the plan, 57 Tory MPs voted against it, citing concerns about the ban being “unconservative” and potentially counterproductive.

Under the new legislation, the legal age to purchase cigarettes in England will increase by one year, every year, until it eventually becomes illegal for the entire population. This phased approach ensures that current legal smokers will not be affected by the ban.

England’s chief medical officer, Professor Sir Chris Whitty, expressed his support for the ban, emphasizing the devastating consequences of tobacco addiction. He shared his experience as a junior doctor, witnessing patients who had to have their legs amputated due to smoking-related damage to their arteries. “That is not choice,” he added, highlighting the importance of protecting young people from the grip of addiction.

disposable vape for sale

In addition to the smoking ban, the Tobacco and Vapes Bill also includes measures to tackle the growing concern of youth vaping. The sale of cheap disposable vapes will be prohibited, and their flavors will be limited to prevent children from becoming addicted to nicotine.

Some lawmakers, such as Conservative MP Simon Clarke, have expressed concerns about the potential effectiveness of the ban. Clarke argued that education and the tax system should be the focus in deterring young people from smoking, warning that a ban could make smoking appear more appealing to rebellious youth and create a black market for tobacco products.

Despite the opposition, the Tobacco and Vapes Bill is expected to comfortably pass its first hurdle in the UK’s House of Commons. The government has clarified that smoking will not be criminalized, and the phased changes ensure that current legal smokers will not be affected.

The number of smokers in the UK has declined significantly since the 1970s, but with 6.4 million people still smoking and 80,000 smoking-related deaths annually, the government sees this bill as a crucial step in addressing the country’s leading preventable cause of death, disability, and poor health.

The UK’s landmark decision to ban smoking for future generations has drawn inspiration from similar policies proposed in New Zealand under former Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. However, New Zealand’s new coalition government recently repealed the bill, making the UK’s move a pioneering effort in the global fight against tobacco addiction.

As the Tobacco and Vapes Bill progresses through the legislative process, the UK is poised to set a powerful precedent in protecting the health and well-being of its future generations. The world will be watching closely as Britain takes bold steps towards becoming a smoke-free society.

New source: The Guardian

New source: The Guardian

Matthew Ma