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    Labour urged to not waste time in bringing generational smoking ban

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    Newley-elected Labour government is being urged to to revive legislation designed to ban young people from ever being able to legally smoke, thus phase out smoking “with both hands”.

    More than 1,000 experts across the health sector have urged the new government to include the law “front and centre” when it announces its legislative programme in the King’s Speech.

    Former prime minister Rishi Sunak announced plans to crack down on smoking through his flagship Tobacco and Vapes Bill last year. The law would have made it illegal to sell tobacco products to anyone born after January 1 2009, as well as cracking down on youth vaping with stricter regulations on flavours and packaging.

    However, the Bill did not get through Parliament before the General Election was called and was shelved, leading to the dismay of charities and health experts.

    A letter, signed by experts from leading health and care charities including Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), Cancer Research UK and the Royal College of Physicians (RCP), says that “there is no time to waste”.

    The letter also reminds the government to take urgent actions to tackle the rise of vaping in youth and children.

    “Measures to prevent vapes being marketed to children are urgently needed, while they remain accessible as an effective quitting aid for adult smokers.”

    “Britain was the birthplace of the tobacco industry, which killed over 100 million people in the 20th century and is on track to kill one billion in the 21st, mainly in low and middle-income countries. The UK now has the chance to lead the world in phasing out smoking. The new Government must seize it with both hands.”

    Other signatories include representatives from The King’s Fund; the Centre for Ageing Better; the Mental Health Foundation; Asthma and Lung UK; the British Heart Foundation; Diabetes UK; Alzheimer’s Research UK; Versus Arthritis; Age UK and Royal Colleges representing surgeons; GPs; psychiatrists; obstetricians and gynaecologists.

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