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    Labour plans to ban anyone born after 2008 from buying tobacco

    (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

    The sale of cigarettes could be phased out if Labour wins the next general election, state recent reports, citing Shadow health secretary Wes Streeting’s statement that the party would consult on bringing-in New Zealand-style gradual ban on tobacco.

    Streeting said this ‘fresh radical thinking’ could help ease pressures on the NHS. He added that the party is also looking at a range of other measures to make smoking unaffordable and inaccessible. 

    “One of the things that was recommended to the government in one of the reviews was phasing out the sale of cigarettes altogether over time. We’ll be consulting on that and a whole range of other measures. 

    “The New Zealand Government is doing it. We want to see how that works, but I’m genuinely curious,” Streeting told BBC. 

    “If we are going to get the NHS back on track we also need to focus on public health. And I’m curious to know where the voters are on this, where the country is and what appetite exists for change,’ he said. 

    “So, we are going to have to think radically. What the Government has done to the NHS is a disgrace. 

    “It is going to take time to fix it and fresh radical thinking and that’s what Labour’s about.” 

    An independent review, which was published this summer, recommended increasing the legal smoking age by one year every year to improve the country’s health. 

    Streeting’s statement comes a week after Cancer Research UK stated in a report that UK government’ ambitious target of achieving smoke-free status for England by 2030 will be missed by nine years.  

    In 2019 the UK government set a smoke-free ambition to achieve five per cent average adult smoking prevalence by 2030 in England. The projections for England by the charity, which use data to 2021, estimate that the average prevalence in England will reach 5.4 per cent in 2039. 

    Previous projection estimates using data up to 2018 suggested that smoking prevalence would reach five per cent in 2037. 

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