The British government has announced plans to eliminate smoking among young people by 2040 and eventually eradicate the habit nationwide. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak made the proposal, which would make it illegal to sell tobacco products to individuals born on or after January 1, 2009. The goal is to create the first “smoke-free generation.”
During a speech at the Tory conference in Manchester, Sunak emphasized the need for change to prevent thousands of children from starting smoking and having their lives cut short as a result. He stated, “I want to build a better and brighter future for our children, so that’s why I want to stamp out smoking for good.” The proposed measures would ensure that children never have the ability to purchase cigarettes.
Smoking is considered Britain’s “biggest preventable killer,” as it is responsible for approximately one in four cancer deaths and leads to 64,000 deaths each year in England alone. The government expects that the proposed measure would save tens of thousands of lives, reduce healthcare costs, and boost the economy by up to £85 billion ($103 billion) by 2075.
In addition to curbing smoking, the government plans to address the popularity of vaping among children. Health Secretary Steve Barclay stated that they would restrict the flavors and marketing tools that make vaping attractive to young people.
Sarah Woolnough, the chief executive of the Asthma + Lung UK charity, welcomed the government’s plan, referring to it as the “game changer” necessary to prevent ailments caused by smoking addiction.
The proposed smoking ban has received widespread attention and support on social media. Individuals are encouraged to share the news and raise awareness of the government’s efforts to create a smoke-free future.
The British government’s commitment to eliminating smoking is a significant step towards improving public health and reducing tobacco-related illnesses. By creating a smoke-free generation, the government aims to protect children from the harmful effects of smoking and save thousands of lives in the process. The proposed measures, coupled with restrictions on vaping, show a comprehensive approach to tackling nicotine addiction among young people. As the plan progresses, it is hoped that other countries will follow suit and prioritize public health by implementing similar measures to reduce smoking rates.