ladbible logo

To make sure you never miss out on your favourite NEW stories, we're happy to send you some reminders

Click 'OK' then 'Allow' to enable notifications

This is what Rishi Sunak's smoking ban could mean for England

This is what Rishi Sunak's smoking ban could mean for England

Rishi Sunak aims to raise the smoking age in the UK by one year every year

The Prime Minister has pledged to crack down on smoking and has called for the legal age of buying tobacco to rise by one year, every year.

Rishi Sunak told the Conservative Party conference in Manchester today (4 October) that he wants to 'try and stop teenagers taking up cigarettes in the first place'.

He plans to introduce a new law banning tobacco sales to anybody born on or after January 1 2009, similar to that of New Zealand.

“If we are to do the right thing for our kids, we must try and stop teenagers taking up cigarettes in the first place,” he said.

“Because without a significant change thousands of children will start smoking in the coming years and have their lives cut short as a result.”

This comes after New Zealand's plans to be a smoke free country by 2025 after a bill was passed last year to ban those aged 14 and under from ever legally buying cigarettes.

Rishi Sunak aims to raise the smoking age in the UK by one year, every year.
PA

The Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products Act 1990 mirrors Sunak's new proposal, which, in New Zealand, bans the sale of tobacco to anyone born on or after 1 January 2009.

In terms of what the smoking ban will look like for the UK, its impact could be similar to New Zealand, which saw the number of adults smokers fall by 16.4 percent from 2011/12, according to Government figures from 2021/2022.

Only a small percentage of teenagers smoke cigarettes in New Zealand.

The country also said the measures will increase the life expectancy for Maori women by 25 percent and by 10 percent for Maori men.

Rishi Sunak told the Conservative Party conference in Manchester today (4 October) that he wants to 'try and stop teenagers taking up cigarettes in the first place'.
Pexels

Smoking happens to be New Zealand's top cause of preventable death, similar to England, as Sunak said: "Smoking is the number one preventable cause of ill health causing 64,000 deaths a year in England."

Elaborating on his plans on X, he said: "In the UK smoking causes 1 in 4 cancer deaths.

"So I’m proposing changing the law so children turning 14 or younger this year can never legally be sold cigarettes in their lifetime.

"A smoke-free generation.

"None of us want our children to grow up to smoke."

Sunak  plans to introduce a new law banning tobacco sales to anybody born on or after January 1 2009, similar to that of New Zealand.
Getty Stock Image

However, New Zealand customs minister Meka Whaitiri has warned that a significant amount of resources and money have been allocated to curb the 'sophisticated' tobacco smuggling operations - an issue that costs the department more than $10million.

“Customs has seen a significant increase in the smuggling of tobacco products into New Zealand over recent years,” Whaitiri said earlier in May 2022.

“We also know that as measures in the Smokefree Aotearoa 2025 Action Plan continue to have an impact on smoking rates, there will likely be increased demand for illegal tobacco products.”

The possible issue of increased tobacco smuggling is something the UK might need to watch out for.

Featured Image Credit: Carl Court/Getty Images/Getty stock

Topics: UK News, Health, Politics