The historic “smoke-free generation” measure has Sunak facing opposition from the Tories.

13

The prime minister‘s attempts to outlaw youth smoking are causing another uprising inside his party.

Selling tobacco products to anyone born after January 1, 2009, would be illegal if the Tobacco and Vapes Bill were to become law.

It follows that youngsters under the age of fifteen will never be able to lawfully purchase cigarettes.

At the Tory party convention last year, Rishi Sunak unveiled three major proposals, of which the plan was one.

But now that the restriction has been criticized by a few more pro-business Conservatives, the prime minister may need to rely on backing from the opposing side of the Commons to pass the measure.

The measures have been characterized as “profoundly unconservative” by Liz Truss, Mr. Sunak’s predecessor, and as “nuts” by Boris Johnson, who is also against the ban.

The proposal is up for free vote among Tory MPs, and many are predicted to vote against it when it comes up for its first full Commons debate on Tuesday.

Nonetheless, Labour will support the plans, thus it’s likely that the law will pass this initial test despite Conservative resistance.

The bill would never make smoking a crime, and anyone above the age of 18 would always be able to purchase cigarettes without facing any legal ramifications.

In the future, though, older folks could need to carry identification to purchase cigarettes.

The government has highlighted the highly addictive nature of smoking, with four out of five smokers developing a lifelong addiction before the age of twenty. The prohibition is intended to discourage people from starting even before they start.

Retailers who break the guidelines risk immediate fines, which the government says will be used to fund more enforcement actions.

The new coalition government in New Zealand removed the world’s first prohibition on youths ever being allowed to purchase cigarettes earlier this year.

The largest avoidable death in the UK

Smoking causes around 80,000 deaths annually in the UK and is the leading preventable cause of mortality. It causes lung, heart, and cancer diseases, as well as chronic bronchitis and other health problems.

According to the Department of Health and Social Care, a hospital admission attributable to a smoking-related disease occurs nearly every minute in England alone.

It also costs the economy and the NHS an estimated £17 billion a year, which is more than the £10 billion in tobacco tax receipts.

The Health and Social Care Secretary, Victoria Atkins, said that the measure will benefit the NHS, “save thousands of lives,” and increase productivity in the United Kingdom.

According to Ms. Atkins, there is no such thing as a safe amount of tobacco use. Because of its particular danger, we are taking this crucial step today to save future generations.”

Several leaders have reaffirmed their support for the measure, including Deborah Arnott, the head of Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), Professor Chris Whitty, the Chief Medical Officer for England, and Dr. Charmaine Griffiths, the head of the British Heart Foundation.

Ms. Arnott stated: “According to recent research from ASH, the majority of tobacco retailers and the general public—including smokers—support the law and the goal of creating a smoke-free generation.