- Rishi Sunak may gradually raise smoking age to make it illegal for young people
Rishi Sunak is considering gradually raising the smoking age to eliminate the habit among younger generations.
The Prime Minister is said to be considering introducing some of the world’s strictest anti-smoking measures.
It is examining the policy adopted by New Zealand last year under which the legal smoking age rises each year, The Guardian reported.
This would mean that tobacco would never end up being sold to anyone born on or after January 1, 2009. The proposal is one of the options in a wide-ranging consultation on vaping that is underway.
Government sources said Sunak frequently receives advice but did not deny it was being considered.
Rishi Sunak (pictured) is considering gradually raising the smoking age to phase out the habit among younger generations.
Bad habit: smoking – The Prime Minister is reviewing the policy adopted by New Zealand last year under which the legal smoking age increases each year (file image)
The Mail understands that over the past few weeks there have been discussions in Whitehall about how to reduce smoking rates.
Some advisers suggested introducing a ban on smoking outside pubs and restaurants, but this was ruled out as it would have been detrimental to pub trade.
The proposal to increase the smoking age is part of a new stage in Sunak’s mandate in which he sets out his vision for the country.
This week he announced a review of costly green pledges, delaying a ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and relaxing the phase-out of gas and oil boilers, to help struggling families.
He is also believed to be considering a British Baccalaureate to replace A levels and fulfill his ambition for all children to study maths until the age of 18.
A tough stance on smoking among children is the latest pro-consumer offer to voters before the next election.
Asked about the New Zealand-style smoking ban policy, a government spokesperson said: “We want to encourage people to quit smoking and meet our ambition to be smoke-free by 2030, which is why we have taken steps to reduce smoking rates. ‘
It came after reports that ministers were considering banning disposable vapes to protect children from the dangers of smoking.
Single-use vaporizers are sold in bright colors and are available in fruity flavors.
And figures from the Office for National Statistics show a rise in vaping among teenagers and young adults in Britain.