Former UK Prime Minister Criticizes New Smoking Ban Bill as "Absolutely Crazy"

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Former UK Prime Minister Criticizes New Smoking Ban Bill as "Absolutely Crazy"
UK plans to ban smoking, raising tobacco purchase age annually, with PM Sunak aiming for near-zero smoking rate by 2040.

According to the German media outlet "Salzburg News", the UK intends to ban smoking and plans to do so through a strict new law. The legislation is set to be first discussed in Parliament in London on Tuesday, April 16. The plan is to increase the minimum age for purchasing tobacco by one year annually, with the current minimum age being 18.


This policy is a major initiative of UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who aims to make it impossible for anyone born in or after 2007 to legally purchase tobacco products. The implementation of this policy could potentially reduce smoking rates in the 14 to 30 age group to near zero by 2040. However, Sunak is facing fierce resistance from within his own team. His predecessor Liz Truss has criticized his actions as infringing on the autonomy of adults.


Former Prime Minister Boris Johnson commented on the bill, saying: "I think the actions we are taking now or in the name of conservatism are absolutely crazy."


Johnson pointed out that their party, surprisingly, wants to ban cigars. Churchill, a Nobel Prize winner and former British Prime Minister, was known for his love of cigars.


In addition, the tobacco lobbying group may delay their plans. According to The Guardian, despite cross-party support, political commentators expect the House of Commons to ultimately pass the bill as the UK Labour Party, as the main opposition force, supports it. However, anti-smoking activists warn that the tobacco industry is working behind the scenes to weaken, delay or even thwart this plan.


The proposed legislation also plans to reduce the appeal of e-cigarettes to young people. The main attractions to minors, such as sweet flavors and bright packaging, should be restricted. In another law, disposable e-cigarettes are theoretically prohibited. In the past three years, the number of 11 to 17 year olds who have tried so-called e-cigarettes has doubled, reaching 20.5%. In the UK, approximately 80,000 people die each year from smoking.


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