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British PM Proposes Banning Cigarette Sales to Younger Generations

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These proposed regulations are part of a broader effort to reduce smoking-related health issues and associated costs in the UK.

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has put forth a proposal to ban the sale of cigarettes to younger generations, which, if enacted, would establish some of the world’s strictest anti-smoking regulations in the United Kingdom. The plan would make the UK the first country in Europe to prohibit cigarette sales to younger people. And Denmark is considering a similar move. The goal of the British plan is to phase out smoking among young people almost entirely by 2040. This would mean that, as per Sunak’s words, “A 14-year-old today will never legally be sold a cigarette.”

Under the anti-smoking plan, the legal smoking age would increase by one year every year, with the aim of creating a “smoke-free” younger generation. Sunak also intends to introduce measures to restrict the availability of vaping products to children, including regulations on flavors, descriptions, packaging, and presentation. New Zealand implemented a similar smoking ban last year, becoming the first country to prevent those born during or after 2009 from legally purchasing cigarettes. This ban will take effect in 2027.

According to Sunak, smoking costs the UK’s health services £17 billion ($33 billion) annually, and reducing smoking could potentially reduce cancer deaths by a quarter. The tobacco industry has criticized the proposal, calling it a “disproportionate attack” on adults’ rights and warning of potential unintended consequences.

These proposed regulations are part of a broader effort to reduce smoking-related health issues and associated costs in the UK.

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