According to what was published in The Guardian, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has unveiled a proposal to progressively raise the minimum age for purchasing tobacco and restrict the sale of vaping products. This initiative is part of a broader strategy aimed at eradicating smoking in the United Kingdom.

Sunak’s proposal outlines a future where a “14-year-old today will never legally buy a cigarette, and he and his generation can grow up without smoking,” as reported by Sky News.

Regarding the decision to incrementally raise the minimum age for buying tobacco, Sunak emphasizes the need for a gradual implementation, stating that it wouldn’t be fair to “take away the right to smoke from those who currently do”.

“People start smoking when they are young: four out of five smokers started smoking when they were 20 years old. Later, the vast majority try to quit, but many fail because they are addicted and wish they had never adopted that habit,” he asserted.

Sunak’s approach is to “break that cycle” and “stop the initiation” of smoking habits. He believes this strategy will put the UK on the path to ending the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the country.

Turning to the issue of vaping, Sunak acknowledges that, as a parent and teacher would, he is aware of the alarming trend of vaping among minors. “One in five children has used it”, he started.

“We must act before it becomes endemic. That’s why we are also introducing measures to restrict the availability of vaping products for our children, examining flavors, packaging presentations, and disposable vapes,” emphasized the UK Prime Minister.

The Telegraph informs that these measures will have to undergo a parliamentary vote, but Sunak has made it clear that the government will not impose a whip, allowing Conservative MPs the freedom to express their approval or rejection of the proposal.

“There will be no government whip. It’s a matter of conscience,” added the Prime Minister, stressing that his proposal is focused on “putting the next generation first.”

Smoking-related illnesses cost the National Health Service (NHS) billions of pounds annually, making the endeavor to curb smoking not only a matter of personal health but also a significant financial consideration. By preventing young people from taking up smoking and curbing vaping among minors, the government aims to reduce the strain on the healthcare system and promote a healthier future for the UK population.

Downing Street has reported that if the Parliament approves this measure, as many as 1.7 million people could quit smoking by the year 2075. This ambitious plan aims to create a healthier, smoke-free future for the UK’s youth.

By Martin

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