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Call for raise of minimum smoking age

09 Jun 2021. In an attempt to stop the “tobacco epidemic”, MPs want the minimum age for buying cigarettes to be raised to 21, reports The Guardian.

The recommendation made by MPs is in line with meeting the government’s target of becoming smoke-free by 2030 and is supported by national health charities and medical organisations. According to the all-party parliamentary group on smoking and health, the regulations would not only protect young people from starting to smoke but could also help smokers to quit.

Apart from the raise in age, the recommendations include a “polluter pays” amendment to the health and social care bill which would secure funding for a tobacco control programme forcing manufacturers to pay to deliver the end of smoking, reports The Guardian.

“Our report sets out measures which will put us on track to achieve the government’s ambition to end smoking by 2030, but they can’t be delivered without funding,” said the all-party committee chairman, Bob Blackman. He continued to say that tobacco manufacturers should be made to pay as they make a huge profit on their highly addictive products.

“We all applauded when the government announced its ambition for a smoke-free 2030. But that was two years ago, the time has now come to deliver,” said Deborah Arnott, chief executive of the anti-smoking group ASH.