UK Moves Closer To Banning All Tobacco Sales

U.K. lawmakers have voted decisively in favor of legislation aimed at eventually banning smoking in Britain. The controversial Tobacco and Vapes Bill is now one step closer to becoming law after clearing its first hurdle in parliament.

The bill would make it illegal to sell tobacco to anyone born after January 1, 2009, with the legal age for the purchase of tobacco products increasing by one year every year until it eventually covers the entire population.

Backers of the legislation, including Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who has made it a key policy of his government, say the aim is to create the U.K.’s “first smoke-free generation.”

If enacted, it would be one of the toughest national anti-smoking measures in the world.

Under current law, it is illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to buy tobacco products in the U.K., but under the Tobacco and Vapes Bill, children who are turning 15 this year, or anyone younger, would never be able to legally buy tobacco in Britain.

The proposed legislation would not criminalize smoking, but rather the sale of tobacco depending on a customer’s age, and it would ensure that anyone who’s currently allowed to buy tobacco products will never be prevented from doing so.

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