THE GREAT DEBATE: Do YOU think the Government should ban cigarettes?

THE GREAT DEBATE: Do YOU think the Government should be banning 14 year olds from ever buying cigarettes in their lifetimes – and will it work?

  • New government plans for a ‘smoke free generation’ have sparked furious debate this week. While supporters have praised the health benefits – critics argue that banning smoking infringes on personal freedom.
  • READ MORE: Rishi Sunak says there is ‘no safe level of smoking’ and it ‘isn’t the same as eating crisps or a piece of cake.’

The Prime Minister used his Tory conference speech earlier this week to announce controversial plans to increase the legal smoking age annually in a bid to try and stop teenagers ever taking up cigarettes in the first place.

His plans would see the legal age for buying tobacco rise every year in England, meaning a 14-year-old today will never legally be sold a cigarette.

Health campaigners have applauded the idea – already introduced in New Zealand – as the ‘single biggest’ public health intervention in preventable causes of death and illness in a generation. They argue it would reduce the pressure smoking-related diseases currently place on the NHS .

However, the plans have been heavily criticised by civil liberties groups and the Mail Community, with complaints that they infringe personal freedom, are ‘anti-conservative’, and could create a black market for tobacco products.

There are concerns about the loss of revenue for the Treasury, with tobacco duties this year estimated at £10.4billion.

Opponents have also highlighted the government’s contrasting stance on obesity, with far less aggressive action despite huge costs to the NHS.

So what do you think about cigarette ban? Do you think it will really stop people smoking? Join the debate in the comments. 

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