The UK smoking age may be raised from 18 to 21 in a bid to stop teenagers ‘experimenting’ with tobacco.
The anti-smoking group campaigning for the Government to raise the legal age for purchasing cigarettes also wants to see a tobacco levy.
Both the Labour party and the Conservative party have shown support for the campaign, with MP Bob Blackman has cited the health issues that the UK faces due to smoking.
Blackman, said, ‘Smoking remains the leading cause of premature death and health inequalities.
‘Ratcheting up tobacco regulation further and faster is essential to achieve the government’s vision for prevention, to increase healthy life expectancy by five years by 2035 while reducing inequalities between the richest and poorest in society.’
The British Lung Foundation has also encouraged the recommendations, and have firmly supported a levy on the tobacco industry.
Chief Executive Penny Woods said, ‘A ‘polluter pays levy’ could raise at least £150 million. This money, which the highly profitable tobacco industry can easily afford, could fund cash-strapped stop-smoking services and discourage young people from ever lighting up.
‘The recommendations will also protect children by funding enforcement against underage sales and help tackle the trade in illicit cigarettes.
‘Raising the age of sale from 18 to 21 will help stop experimentation from becoming a fatal habit and reinforce the dangers of tobacco.
‘The next step is for the Government to show its commitment to achieving a smoke-free generation by adopting the full list of recommendations and turn them all into law.’