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Is Rishi Sunak planning to stub out smoking? Prime Minister is considering raising the smoking age to phase out the habit among younger generations
- Rishi Sunak may gradually raise smoking age to make it illegal for young people
Rishi Sunak is considering gradually raising the smoking age to phase out the habit among younger generations.
The Prime Minister is said to be looking at introducing some of the toughest anti-smoking measures anywhere in the world.
He is examining the policy adopted by New Zealand last year that sees the legal smoking age increase each year, The Guardian reported.
This would mean tobacco would end up never being sold to anyone born on or after January 1, 2009. The proposal is one of the options in a wide-ranging consultation on vaping that is under way.
Government sources said Mr Sunak receives advice frequently, but did not deny that it was under consideration.
Rishi Sunak (pictured) is considering gradually raising the smoking age to phase out the habit among younger generations
Bad habit: Smoking – The PM is examining the policy adopted by New Zealand last year that sees the legal smoking age increase each year (file image)
The Mail understands that over recent weeks there have been discussions in Whitehall about how to reduce rates of smoking.
Some advisers suggested introducing a ban on smoking outside pubs and restaurants – but this was ruled out as it would have been damaging to the pub trade.
The proposal to increase the smoking age is part of a new stage in Mr Sunak’s premiership in which he sets out his vision for the country.
This week he announced an overhaul of costly green pledges, delaying a ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and relaxing the phasing out of gas and oil boilers, to help hard-pressed families.
He is also believed to be considering a British baccalaureate to replace A-levels to fulfil his ambition for all children to study maths to the age 18.
A tough stance on smoking for children is the latest consumer-friendly offering to voters ahead of the next election.
Asked about the policy of a New Zealand-style smoking ban, a Government spokesman said: ‘We want to encourage people to quit and meet our ambition to be smoke-free by 2030, which is why we have taken steps to reduce smoking rates.’
It came after reports that ministers were considering banning disposable vapes to protect children from the dangers of smoking.
Single-use vapes are sold in bright colours and are available in fruit-like flavours.
And figures from the Office for National Statistics show an increase in vaping among teenagers and young adults in Britain.
Superdrug axes single-use vapes
Superdrug has announced plans to stop selling single-use vapes
Superdrug has announced plans to stop selling single-use vapes in all its UK and Ireland stores, citing their negative impact on the environment.
Brands such as Vuse Go and Flavaah Bars will no longer be sold by the firm, which plans to have the stock cleared by the end of the year. It follows a similar move by Waitrose, which last year became the first UK supermarket to stop selling them.
Research from Material Focus found 5million disposable vapes are being thrown away each week – a fourfold increase over the past year. Superdrug also cited the fire risk from improper disposal of vapes due to many containing lithium batteries.
Lucy Morton-Channon at Superdrug said the rate vapes are discarded is ‘alarming’.
Ministers are reportedly poised to ban single-use vapes amid concerns they are being targeted towards children.
Research from Material Focus found 5million disposable vapes are being thrown away each week (file image)