• May 28, 2024

U.K. to Vote Tuesday on Tobacco Endgame Bill

 U.K. to Vote Tuesday on Tobacco Endgame Bill
Vapor Voice archives

On Tuesday, British lawmakers will vote on a generational smoking ban aimed at preventing young people from smoking.

The bill, a key policy announced by Conservative Prime Minister Rishi Sunak last year, will make it illegal to sell tobacco products to anyone born after 2009, according to media reports.

The proposal has the support of the opposition Labour Party and is expected to pass. However, some libertarian-minded members of Sunak’s party criticized the proposals as “unconservative.”

Authorities say that if passed, the bill will create modern Britain’s “first smoke-free generation”.

Supporting the ban, England’s chief medical officer, Professor Sir Chris Whitty, said once people become addicted to smoking, “their choice is taken away.”

Under the Tobacco and Vapes Bill, children turning 15 this year or younger will never be legally sold tobacco. The legal age of sale that people in England can buy cigarettes will be raised by one year, every year, until it is eventually illegal for the whole population.

The bill also includes measures to crack down on youth vaping, such as banning the sale of disposable vapes and limiting their flavors to prevent children from becoming addicted to nicotine.

Opponents, such as Conservative lawmaker Simon Clarke, have said it is better to focus on education and the tax system to deter young people from smoking rather than enforcing an outright ban.

“I think that an outright ban risks being counterproductive; I think it actually risks making smoking cooler; it certainly risks creating a black market,” he told the BBC.