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The legal smoking age could be set to rise in the UK, according to The Telegraph.
The publication reports that an independent review commissioned by health secretary Sajid Javid is expected to be published in the coming weeks, and it will recommend raising the legal age from 18 to 21.
A Downing Street source told The Telegraph that Prime Minister Boris Johnson does not believe the age should be increased, as the Government considers 18 to be the age of legal responsibility.
Javed Khan, the review's author and former CEO of Barnardo's, has previously confirmed that he was considering recommending a smoking legal age increase.
Speaking to The Times in March, Khan said: "We are thinking seriously about the age of sale."
Making comparisons with the pandemic, he added: "Just look at the Covid experience, mass marketing has a big effect, it really works.
"The government went hell for leather, it made an enormous difference in vaccination rates."
It is understood the report will also advise hitting tobacco company profits with new taxes.
The levy could bring in £700 million a year, which the report will recommend spending on smoking-cessation services, advertising campaigns and providing e-cigarettes to smokers on the NHS.
CALL OUT: I want to hear your views and what we can do to support current smokers to quit, and to stop people taking up smoking. Use the hashtag #TobaccoIndependentReview. Email: [email protected] Thread 1/6— Javed Khan OBE (@JavedKhanCEO) February 18, 2022
Javid - who quit smoking when he became health secretary last year - has previously urged people to harness the 'power of families' to make a difference to the health of their loved ones, recalling when his father quit smoking at the request of his mother.
"When I was around five, my dad was a smoker," he said during a speech at the Royal College of Physicians in March.
"I remember standing at the top of the staircase and overhearing a conversation my mum was having with my dad, she said 'if you die, your boys won't have a dad' and he never smoked again.
"That kind of intervention is more powerful than most of us can imagine.
"We've got to recognise the power of families to make a difference when it comes to health care, whether it's stopping drug addiction, or dealing with depression, there's no more powerful motivating force than family."
LADbible has contacted the Department of Health and Care for comment.
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