UK Landmark Generational Smoking Ban Tabled In Parliament

The UK’s GEG has been introduced in Parliament, with the Tobacco and Vapes Bill banning the sale of cigarettes to anyone born from 2009. Vape flavours and packaging will also be restricted. The bill is expected to pass later this year with Labour support.

LONDON, March 21 — A proposed generational smoking ban in the United Kingdom has started its legislative journey, after the Tobacco and Vapes Bill was introduced in the UK Parliament yesterday.

The bill proposes to ban cigarette sales to anyone born from 2009, or anyone turning 15 this year or younger; a date for parliamentary debate on the bill has yet to be announced.

Under the landmark legislation on the smoking generational end game (GEG), the legal age at which people can buy cigarettes rises by one year every year, so that teens born from 2009 can never be legally sold tobacco products.

“If we want to build a better future for our children we need to tackle the single biggest entirely preventable cause of ill health, disability and death: smoking,” UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said in a statement yesterday.

“That is why, alongside new measures to curb the alarming rise in youth vaping, we are delivering on our commitment to create a smoke-free generation and stop our kids from getting hooked on harmful cigarettes and other nicotine products.

“This important change will save thousands of lives and billions of pounds for our NHS, freeing up new resources that can be spent to improve outcomes for patients right across the UK.”

Additionally, the Tobacco and Vapes Bill provides new powers to restrict vape flavours and packaging, and changes how vapes are displayed in shops to protect children.

Retailers will also face £100 (RM602) on-the-spot fines issued by council officers for underage sales of tobacco and vapes. The bill also prohibits retailers from handing out free vape samples to under-18s.

England Chief Medical Officer Prof Chris Whitty pointed out that smoking causes harm across one’s life course, including stillbirth, asthma, heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, 15 different types of cancer, stroke, and dementia.

“If passed, this will be a major public health measure which will reduce illness, disability and premature deaths for children today and future generations,” Whitty said in a statement.

BBC reported that Conservative MPs would get a free vote, with some expected to reject the government bill. Former UK prime ministers – Liz Truss and Boris Johnson, both from the Conservative Party – have opposed the generational smoking ban, describing it as an infringement on personal freedoms.

However, the bill is “almost certain” to become law later this year, due to Labour support for the ban.

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