Campaigners slam proposal to raise age of sale of tobacco

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Campaigners have slammed proposals to raise the age of sale of tobacco from 18 to 21.

The plan is expected to feature in recommendations announced today (Thursday 9th June) by Javed Khan, a former CEO of Barnardo’s, who was commissioned by health secretary Sajid Javid to conduct an “independent review” into tobacco control.

“You don’t have to be 21 to know that smoking is potentially harmful to your health. It’s drummed into every child from an early age,” said Simon Clark, director of the smokers’ group Forest.

“If you can legally have sex at 16, drive a car at 17 and purchase alcohol at 18, you should be allowed to make an informed choice to buy tobacco at 18.”

He added:

“In the eyes of the law you are an adult at 18 and you should be treated like one. What next? Are they going to raise the legal age of sale of alcohol to 21 as well?

“If adults young and old still choose to smoke despite the well publicised health risks that is a matter for them, not for government, and that choice must be respected.”