Taking a page of out New Zealand’s book, the British government want to introduce a new law where people under the age of 25 can no longer purchase tobacco products such as cigarettes.
Proponents of the new law want to discourage young people from taking up the deadly habit.
There are an estimated six million smokers in the UK. A 2019 found that there were 64,000 deaths related to smoking.
And, according to the gov.uk website, smoking costs the NHS about £2.5 billion.
So what do people think?
A young York smoker, Callum Daniels, 24, told YorkMix: “I think the end goal is possible, but I believe that residents in the UK may potentially boycott cigarettes anywat, as the prices for tobacco products continue to rise monthly.”
A York health worker, Jorey Lewington, said in principle there was a lot to commend the idea. But he had doubts as to whether it would prove effective in practice.
“It will allow people not only to have more money in their pocket for other things, but also reduce strain on the NHS via potentially avoidable heart problems, lung problems and cancer.
“However, I’m doubtful that it is a realistic goal. We can compare it to what we have recently seen with the vaccine rollout – if we cannot force everyone in the country to get a vaccine, I do not think we can force the entire country to stop smoking either.
“I don’t think raising the legal age for purchasing tobacco would be particularly effective. Whilst it might discourage people from buying first-hand, I am sure we are all familiar with the idea of having someone else who is of age purchase tobacco, either for ourselves or for someone else.
“I think the focus should be on tackling this instead.”
He added: “The NHS can’t refuse to treat a smoker for a condition caused by smoking, the same as they cant refuse to treat someone non vaccinated against Covid-19.”