Born After 2008? The UK To Ban Tobacco Sales FOREVER

James Hydzik

18 April 2024 - 13:18

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Parliament voted in the second hearing for restrictions on tobacco sales. By 2027, it will be illegal to sell tobacco to anyone in the UK born after 2008.

Born After 2008? The UK To Ban Tobacco Sales FOREVER

The UK government plan to forbid cigarette sales to anyone born after 2008 has passed a second vote in Parliament. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s plan to forbid sales of cigarettes to those born 2009 or later, looks set to become law and the plan will come into full force as of 2027. Only sales will be illegal – smoking by those affected will still be permitted.

Lives and money

According to the Impact Assessment from the Department of Health & Social Care, “Tobacco, and especially cigarette smoking, is the single most important, entirely preventable cause of ill health, disability, and death … Smoking is responsible for around 80,000 deaths in the UK each year.
Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) estimate that the total costs of smoking to society in England are over £17 billion, including £14 billion cost to productivity.”

Along with the Parliamentary vote, the bill went through Ways and Means and other committee processes. It is currently in a Public Bill Committee (PBC) process to ensure that on a line-by-line basis, the future law meets the standards needed to be enactable. The PBC is slated to report to the House of Commons by 23rd May ahead of a third reading and then a vote in the House of Lords. The bill could become law by year-end.

Would it work?

The idea of banning sales, but not criminalizing smoking is not to criminalize tobacco use, but to change a behavior that is costing the public billions of pounds a year. In the health report, the authors point out that 50% of long-term smokers will die of smoking-related health issues.
The BBC points out that the form of the law resembles that of one enacted in New Zealand, which was eventually repealed to improve the country’s tax base and make cuts elsewhere possible. Portugal is attempting to have a ‘smokeless generation” and a bill that would forbid selling tobacco products in petrol shops, cafés and bars.


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