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07th Nov 2023

Plans for UK smoking ban confirmed in King’s Speech

UK smoking ban announced during King's Speech

The legislation will ‘create a smoke-free generation’

The UK government’s plans to ban smoking have been confirmed in the King’s Speech.

On Tuesday, King Charles III appeared before the House of Lords for the official opening of Parliament.

He also delivered his first King’s Speech as monarch, which lays out the government’s planned policies for the upcoming year.

One of the biggest announcement was the Tories’ plans for what would effectively become a smoking ban in the UK.

Last month, Rishi Sunak announced at the Conservative Party conference that he wants to raise the smoking age by one year, every year.

This means that a 14-year-old today will “never legally be sold a cigarette” in the UK.

Speaking at the State Opening of Parliament, King Charles said the Government would “introduce legislation to create a smoke-free generation by restricting the sale of tobacco … and restricting the sale and marketing of e-cigarettes to children.”

The Prime Minister said at the Tory Party conference that smoking costs the country UK £17 billion per year and is the single biggest avoidable problem facing the NHS. It causes 64,000 deaths a year in England.

Under Sunak’s plan, he is essentially banned smoking for anyone who is not of legal age to do so now.

The plan, he explained, would be subject to a “free” vote in Parliament, allowing politicians to vote by choice, rather than being directed by party preference.

“If we are to do the right thing for our kids, we must try and stop teenagers taking up cigarettes in the first place,” Sunak said at the time.

“Because without a significant change thousands of children will start smoking in the coming years and have their lives cut short as a result.”

King Charles also announced during his speech that there would be a “further crackdown on vaping.”

A consultation has already begun to establish how best to prevent children from taking up the habit whilst also encouraging adults to vape as an alternative to smoking cigarettes.

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