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PM Rishi Sunak’s Move: The Cigarette Ban Explained

Efforts have been made in different countries around the world to ban smoking at various times.

But it’s unfortunate that none of these laws have quite hit the mark, and people still light up regularly.

Yet, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is taking a different approach to tackle smoking.

His idea of creating a smoke-free generation is pretty rare in the history books.

He wants to pass laws that allow current smokers to keep puffing away, but make it super hard for new smokers to start.

Anyone thinking of picking up the habit again would have to think twice because breaking this law would mean serious trouble.

If all goes well, the law will come into force in 2027.

Let’s break down what this law entails.

According to the new legislation, individuals under the age of 18 will be prohibited from purchasing cigarettes.

If this law is enacted by 2027, those born after 2009 will find themselves unable to legally buy cigarettes.

This aspect of the law has been widely covered by news outlets.

Now, a question on many minds: what if I’m 19? Can I still buy cigarettes? The answer is no, if you were born after 2019, purchasing cigarettes will never be an option.

This is because the minimum age requirement will increase by one year annually. So, if the minimum age to buy cigarettes is 18 in 2027, it will rise to 19 in 2028.

So, here’s the deal: if your birth year is 2009 or later, buying cigarettes will never be an option for you.

Now, for those who are already buying cigarettes, aka the older folks, if they decide to purchase them and pass them on to you, well, then you might get a chance to smoke.

But let’s face it, everyone who’s old enough to buy cigarettes will eventually pass away. And since nobody’s getting older just to buy more smokes, there’s a new generation of non-smokers on the horizon in Britain.

Legally speaking, shops aren’t allowed to sell cigarettes to anyone born after 2009.

And if a shop breaks the rules and sells cigarettes to someone under the legal age, they’ll face an immediate fine of £100.

Local authorities are responsible for enforcing this law, and they have the power to slap fines of up to £2,500 on those who break it.

Now, what about cigarettes sold on the black market? To put a stop to that, the government plans to spend a whopping £30 million.

Now, some folks might wonder why there’s such a fuss about stopping smoking or cigarettes.

After all, if a smoker uses their own money to buy and puff on ten cigarettes a day, where’s the harm to others or to the country, right?

Well, there’s actually quite a few issues at play here.

Sure, governments rake in a hefty sum from taxes on cigarettes. But let’s not ignore the flip side of the coin.

When someone lights up, they’re burning through thousands of chemicals, including nasty stuff like carbon monoxide, lead, and ammonia.

Cigarettes are made up of a whopping seventy different materials, many of which are linked to cancer.

In the UK alone, a staggering £70 billion is spent on healthcare each year, directly and indirectly because of smoking. And get this: about 80,000 people in Britain kick the bucket, get disabled, or fall ill due to smoking-related causes.

Just a heads-up, folks: those numbers are specific to the UK.

Imagine a future where an entire generation grows up without ever lighting up—a world where heart disease, stroke, lung cancer, and other smoking-related illnesses could become a thing of the past within just 100 years.

Think about it: polio, once a dreaded disease, has been virtually wiped out from the planet thanks to vaccines. It’s been decades since anyone has had to worry about polio, all because of widespread awareness and vaccination efforts.

The generation that received those first polio shots and subsequent ones hasn’t seen a single case of the disease since.

Now, you might be wondering: with the new anti-smoking bill in the works, what about vaping? Will it be included?

Absolutely. Vaping falls under the umbrella of this law. While some view it as a substitute for traditional smoking, it’s important to remember that vaping still involves nicotine, and nicotine isn’t exactly harmless.

Disposable vaping is relatively less harmful than cigarette smoking. But here it is never said that there is no harm.

The current government plans to ban disposable vaping in England by April 2025.

Adding flavors and eye-catching packaging to vaping products can make them appealing to children, which is why regulations will soon be in place to control both aspects. The new tax is set to roll out in October 2026.

In England, around 12% of 16- to 17-year-olds smoke, but if we widen the age range to include 11 to 17-year-olds, we’ve actually seen a decline in youth smoking over the past decade. However, this isn’t cause for celebration, as vaping, especially disposable vaping, has been on the rise among this group.

Across the globe, countries like New Zealand have taken steps to combat smoking, perhaps serving as inspiration for similar measures in the UK.

Additionally, countries like Mexico have already implemented restrictions on smoking in public areas such as beaches and parks.

We’re aiming for a world where smoke-free living isn’t just a dream, but a reality we can achieve together.


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