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Health Alert: UK to ban tobacco for future generations over increasing smoking-related deaths

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*British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s ‘ambitious plan’ discussed at a Conservative Party conference Wednesday, October 4, could be among the toughest anti-smoking rules in the world to prevent 14-year-olds from ever buying tobacco, stating smoking is leading cause of preventable ill-health in the European country

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

British Prime Minister (PM) Rishi Sunak Wednesday, October 4, 2023, unveiled an ambitious plan to prevent smoking-related deaths for future generations by raising the age to buy cigarettes one year every year in the United Kingdom (UK).

ConsumerConnect learnt PM Sunak stated the plan is being made “so that eventually no one can buy them.”

The Prime Minister’s plan, which he discussed at a Conservative Party conference, in the UK, would be among the toughest anti-smoking rules in the world and prevent 14-year-olds today from ever buying tobacco.

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak

He also told the conference: “There is no safe level of smoking.

“If we want to do the right thing for our kids, we must try and stop teenagers taking up cigarettes in the first place.”

He explained “because without significant change, thousands of children will start smoking in the coming years and have their lives cut short.”

It is noted that England already has banned smoking in public places and raised the smoking age to 18.

There are over five million smokers in England and six million across the United Kingdom, according to UK’s Office for National Statistics.

Sunak called smoking the leading cause of preventable ill-health, which includes one in four deaths from cancer. Tobacco use also increases the risk of strokes, heart disease, dementia and stillbirth.

The Primer Minister said members of UK Parliament would be given a free vote on the proposed tobacco rules, which would raise the age of sale from 18 every year, as recommended by a government-commissioned review in 2022.

He said: “When we raised the smoking age to 18, smoking prevalence dropped by 30% in that age group.

“When the United States raised the age to 21, the smoking rate dropped by 39% in that age group.”

While smoking rates have been falling since the 1970s, vaping is on the rise, agency report said.

“We’ll also bring forward measures to restrict the availability of vapes to our children — looking at flavors, packaging, displays and disposable vapes,” Sunak said.

As Public Health England promotes “Stoptober” this month to encourage smokers to take a break from cigarettes, the campaign has proved to be a hard sell in Mid Devon, where more than 25% of the residents smoke, report noted.

Other areas, such as east Sussex and Lincoln, also have high rates of smokers who are likely to push back against the prime minister’s plan.

Besides saving lives, Sunak’s vision also would help the government achieve its goal of making England virtually smoke-free by 2030, while saving the country billions of Dollars.

“We have a chance to cut cancer deaths by a quarter, significantly ease those pressures and protect our children, and we should take it,” stated the British PM.

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