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Government Plans To Create Smoke-Free Generation In The UK

Cig & ashtray

Blessing Nkama

Downing Street is considering imposing a new tax on vapes as part of plans to create a smoke-free generation in the UK. As part of the government’s crackdown on smoking, it has been announced that an eight-week consultation on smoking would explore a new duty on vapes.

No 10 said there was an “important balance” to be struck to ensure there is a significant difference between taxes on vapes and those on cigarettes, to prevent the move backfiring and encouraging people to take up smoking.

Children under the age of 15 will never able to obtain or buy cigarettes

Taxes on vapes are expected to be lower than on cigarettes since vapes are considered an important tool to helping smokers quit.

In the King’s Speech, the Government announced its plans to reduce the appeal of e-cigarettes and vapes and ensure children under the age of 15 will never able to obtain or buy cigarettes. The King announced: “My Government will introduce legislation to create a smoke-free generation by restricting the sale of tobacco so that children currently aged fourteen or younger can never be sold cigarettes, and restricting the sale and marketing of e-cigarettes to children.”

The measures proposed to reduce the appeal include limiting flavours to tobacco or tobacco mint only, introducing plain packaging, banning disposable vapes and banning vape displays.

Smoking costs the UK £17 billion a year

The Daily Express reports that these proposals will affect over 2.9 million smokers, and increase the NHS Autumn Budget to £40 million. According to the Government, smoking costs the UK £17 billion a year, including £14 billion through lost productivity and £3 billion on the NHS and care system.

Bob Blackman CBE MP, Chairman of the APPG on Smoking and Health welcomed the announcement.

“We congratulate the Prime Minister for sending a clear message in his speech today that this government is determined to live up to its smoke-free ambition. The recommendations set out in the Khan independent review on smoking have been taken on board, and there will be immediate benefits to smokers, to the NHS, to social care and to public finances. We look forward to seeing his words turned into action, with commitments in the King’s speech in November to legislation in the forthcoming parliamentary session.”

Blessing Nkama

Featured image courtesy of ian dooley via Unsplash. Image license found here. No changes were made to this image.

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