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Smoke’s Up: UK Lawmakers Advance Bill Banning Lifetime Tobacco Sales for Those Born After 2009

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A smoking ban law that prohibits individuals under the age of 15 in the UK from purchasing cigarettes for life has passed the first hurdle in parliament.

In the UK, a smoking ban law that prohibits individuals under 15 from purchasing cigarettes for life has passed the first parliamentary hurdle. This image is not directly related to the article. [Photo=Pixabay]

According to Reuters and other foreign media reports on the 16th (local time), the UK House of Commons passed the Tobacco and Electronic Cigarettes Regulation Bill to the next stage of consideration in the Commons with 383 votes in favor and 67 against during the tbill’sl’s second reading.

The bill, introduced by the UK government to create a smoke-free generation, will annually raise the eligible age to buy tobacco, making it impossible for those born on or after January 1, 2009, ever to purchase tobacco.

Additionally, the bill includes provisions such as banning disposable e-cigarette products and restricting appealing flavors, packaging, and sales methods that might attract teenagers.

The UK government believes that enacting this bill could save many lives. According to authorities, there are about 6.4 million smokers in the UK, approximately 13% of the population, and annually, 80,000 people die from smoking-related diseases.

During the debate in the House of Commons, Health Minister Victoria Atkins stated”, “Too many people are experiencing a shortened lifespan or irreversible changes in life due to smoking. There is no freedom in addiction. Protecting the next generation is our du”y.”

[Photo=Pixabay]

However, there is known opposition within the ruling Conservative Party.

During a visit to Canada last week, former Prime Minister Boris Johnson criticized the idea, saying”, “The party of Winston Churchill wants to ban cigarIt’st’s just m”d.” Former Prime Minister Liz Truss also expressed opposition, labeling supporters of the bill as health police.

57 out of 348 Conservative MPs voted against the bill in the House of Commons vote that day, with 106 abstaining.

The bill will now proceed to committee scrutiny, a complete assembly report, and a third reading before finally passing the House of Commons and being sent to the House of Lords. The final vote in the Lords is expected to take place in mid-June.

Meanwhile, this bill was benchmarked against NZealand’sd’s Tobacco Endgame Policy, which passed the New Zealand Parliament in 2022. NZealand’sd’s tobacban’sn’s cornerstone is preventing anyone born after January 1, 2009, from ever buying tobacco.

However, New Zealand, which switched to a conservative government last year, decided to scrap its anti-smoking policy, citing reasons such as lack of tax revenue.

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