Towards a ban on smoking in the United Kingdom? Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is reportedly considering implementing measures similar to those adopted in New Zealand last December, British government sources told The Guardian. Following the New Zealand model, the legal age for smoking tobacco could be gradually increased so that it would no longer be possible to sell cigarettes to people born on or after 1 January 2009.
In December 2022, under former Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, the New Zealand Parliament adopted a text to reduce the number of people using tobacco products. The legal smoking age will be raised every year, preventing people born after 2008 from buying cigarettes. Another measure is also to reduce the amount of nicotine in products to a level that would no longer be addictive. The number of sellers authorized to sell these products will also be reduced to 600 from 6000,<> currently.
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According to the Guardian, a UK government spokesperson, when asked about New Zealand's anti-smoking policy, said "smoking" was a "deadly habit" that "placed a huge burden on the health system and the economy". The spokesperson also assured that the government wants to "encourage more people to quit smoking and achieve our ambition to stop smoking by 2030". With this in mind, the British government has provided one million smokers in England with free e-cigarette kits. The Labour Party has for its part revealed, still according to the British daily, to conduct "consultations on the phasing out of the sale of cigarettes for young people".