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British legislators to vote on proposed ban on smoking for young people



British lawmakers to vote on smoking ban for younger generations, ET HealthWorld

In a bold move, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has proposed a ban on anyone aged 15 and under from ever buying cigarettes. The legislation, known as the Tobacco and Vapes Bill, aims to prevent children born since 2009 from legally purchasing tobacco, with the goal of addressing the detrimental effects of smoking on public health. The bill will be put to a vote on Tuesday, with lawmakers granted a free vote, allowing them to vote based on personal beliefs rather than party lines.

While the measure is expected to pass, it has sparked controversy within Sunak’s own Conservative Party. Former prime ministers Liz Truss and Boris Johnson have voiced opposition to the government’s interference in personal lifestyle choices. Critics argue that the ban may backfire, making smoking more appealing to young people and potentially fueling a black market for tobacco products.

Despite these concerns, the legislation has garnered support from medical and healthcare experts, as well as charities, citing smoking-related deaths and illnesses as a pressing public health issue. Sunak has emphasized the importance of addressing smoking as the “single biggest entirely preventable cause of ill-health, disability, and death.”

If approved, the Tobacco and Vapes Bill will advance to the next stage in parliament, marking a significant step towards implementing stringent anti-smoking regulations in the UK. The upcoming vote will serve as a critical juncture in Sunak’s leadership, as he faces challenges from both within his party and the broader public health community.

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