United Kingdom: soon a tobacco-free generation?

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A radical choice for public health in the United Kingdom. On Tuesday, MPs adopted at first reading a law to completely and definitively ban the sale of cigarettes from the generation born in 2009. Concretely, Britons now aged 15 will be refused the purchase of cigarettes, reports The Telegraph.

Consumers will have to present their identity documents to sellers. And in the event of non-compliance with the regulations, traders risk a fine of up to 2,500 pounds sterling (around 3,000 euros).

Also fight against vaping

According to a British government report, smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the United Kingdom: each year, it kills more than 80,000 people and is responsible for one in four cancers. The goal is to make 2009 the first tobacco-free generation. Ultimately, become a tobacco-free country. Because young people start early. Almost a quarter of British 16 and 17 year olds smoke. Young people also attracted by alternatives to traditional smoking. In 2021, 9% of 16-19 year olds were e-cigarette users. This text therefore also provides for a total ban on disposable electronic cigarettes. A suppression already adopted in France in autumn 2023 as part of its anti-smoking policy.

Legislative measures with an uncertain future

The United Kingdom is therefore not a pioneer in the quest to completely eliminate tobacco. In 2022, New Zealand banned the sale of cigarettes to young people born after 2008. A measure abandoned at the end of 2023 by the return to business of a more traditional right. The legislative journey will also still be long for British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. He faces a lot of criticism, including within his party. This ban is refused by some of the conservatives who form the majority in Parliament. They denounce a “paternalistic state”. This bill therefore risks being rejected. If it is adopted, it will be thanks to the votes of the opposition.

 

This article is originally published on courrier-picard.fr

 

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