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What will happen if you're born after 2009 and caught smoking under new ban

What will happen if you're born after 2009 and caught smoking under new ban

It's a revolutionary move by the government

The Government has doubled down on its commitment to create the United Kingdom's first ever smoke-free generation through the introduction of a brand new smoking ban.

And it's the kind of smoking ban that makes the 2007 decision to ban smoking in enclosed public spaces look like child's play, with the new 2024 proposal set to bring in a blanket ban on buying tobacco for anyone born in the UK after 2009.

It means that anyone currently turning 15 this year or younger will never legally be allowed to buy tobacco products like cigarettes, tobacco pouches, or cigars.

"Smoking takes around 80,000 lives in the UK every year and causes one in four cancer-related deaths," said Health and Social Care Secretary, Victoria Atkins.

"It’s therefore only right we take robust action to protect future generations from these harmful products,"

Smoking will be illegal for those born after 2009.
Getty Stock Images

Why is it being introduced?

It's the next step in Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's campaign against smoking, having already confirmed he will ban disposable vapes and specific flavours throughout the country in the fight against children becoming addicted.

In making the UK's first ever smoke-free generation, politicians hope that it will not only save thousands of lives but in turn, save the NHS billions of pounds in not having to treat smoking-related illness like lung cancer.

Research says that smoking is the country's single biggest preventable killer and costs the NHS and the economy an estimated £17 billion a year.

Four in five of those who start smoking before the age of 20 remain addicted for the rest of their lives, the Department of Health and Social Care says, putting lifelong pressure on the NHS for those in this situation.

It adds that someone admitted to hospital with a smoking relating condition almost every minute in England.

Smoking will become a thing of the past.
Getty Stock Images

What will the ban actually do?

Well, you can't legally buy cigarettes or other tobacco products if you're turning 15 this year or younger.

It'll be put to Parliament today (20 March) in the form of the Tobacco and Vapes Bill.

If the Bill is makes in to law, enforcement officers’ powers will also be strengthened with on the spot fines of £100 to those who sell tobacco to those born after 2009 or for selling banned vaping products.

This will be on top of the current maximum fine of £2,500 that councils can already impose. The law will also ban free samples of vapes to under 18s which is current allowed due to a loophole in the law.

Binned cigarettes.
Getty Stock Images

What happens to you if you buy tobacco products and you're born after 2009?

LADbible spoke to the Department of Health and Social Care over this, to which a spokesperson confirmed that if you're illegally sold a pack of cigarettes, the issue will lie with those selling it.

Smoking itself will not be criminalised, the department says. It also says that anyone who can legally buy tobacco now will not be prevented from doing so in future.

Mr Sunak said: "If we want to build a better future for our children we need to tackle the single biggest entirely preventable cause of ill-health, disability and death: smoking.

"That is why, alongside new measures to curb the alarming rise in youth vaping, we are delivering on our commitment to create a smokefree generation and stop our kids from getting hooked on harmful cigarettes and other nicotine products.

"This important change will save thousands of lives and billions of pounds for our NHS, freeing up new resource than can be spent to improve outcomes for patients right across the UK."

Professor Chris Whitty, Chief Medical Officer for England said: "Smoking causes harm across the life course. This includes stillbirth, asthma, heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, 15 different types of cancer, stroke and dementia."

If passed this will be a major public health measure which reduce illness, disability, and premature deaths for children today and future generations.

Featured Image Credit: Getty Stock Images

Topics: Health, NHS, UK News, Politics, Rishi Sunak