More

    Rishi Sunak’s ‘phased generational smoking ban’ will push the UK tobacco market underground

    iStock image

    “Rishi Sunak’s policy to introduce a phased generational smoking ban will have profound consequences for consumers, retailers and local communities across the UK,” said Rupert Lewis, Director of the TMA, in response to the publication of the Tobacco & Vapes Bill, which will introduce a “phased generational ban” on the purchase of tobacco products for anyone born on or after 1 January 2009.

    “As a policy, it is unworkable, illiberal and unenforceable, and risks pushing an even larger share of the UK’s tobacco market underground – with every passing year – into the hands of the organised crime gangs that spread violence and disorder up and down our country.

    “In the UK, 18-years of age is when a person becomes an adult and takes responsibility for their actions. It is the age when you can legally buy alcohol, fight for your country, serve on a jury, get married without permission or place a bet. Fast forward a few years and a phased generational smoking ban will see retailers having to differentiate between 28-year-olds and 29-year-olds when selling tobacco. This is not common sense.

    “According to the British Retail Consortium, Co-op, Retail Trust, USDAW, National Federation of Retailers and Scottish Grocers’ Federation, UK retailers are facing unprecedented levels of verbal abuse and physical violence (1,300 incidents every day, according to the latest British Retail Consortium Crime Survey [February 2024]) with retail crime reaching epidemic levels. The introduction of a phased generational ban will lead to an escalation in more threatening anti-social behaviour towards retailers, as the weight of responsibility for enforcement will fall entirely on the shoulders of shopkeepers and their staff.

    “The New Zealand Government has seen sense and repealed a ‘generational ban’ before it was implemented, and the UK Government would be wise to adopt a similar approach, because the repercussions of introducing a ‘tobacco prohibition law’ will be long-lasting, and felt by communities across the UK for years to come”.

    The TMA is the trade association for the UK tobacco industry and represents British American Tobacco UK Ltd, Imperial Tobacco Ltd, and Gallaher Ltd (a member of the Japan Tobacco Group of companies).

    Latest

    McCain Foods acquires plant-based frozen food brand

    McCain Foods has acquired Strong Roots, a plant-based frozen...

    Vape restrictions in Tobacco and Vapes Bill undermine public health goals, says Responsible Vaping APPG

    Government should take a comprehensive evidence-based approach to vaping...

    SPAR South West partners with FareShare to fight hunger

    In the fight against food waste and hunger, SPAR...

    Don't miss

    McCain Foods acquires plant-based frozen food brand

    McCain Foods has acquired Strong Roots, a plant-based frozen...

    Vape restrictions in Tobacco and Vapes Bill undermine public health goals, says Responsible Vaping APPG

    Government should take a comprehensive evidence-based approach to vaping...

    SPAR South West partners with FareShare to fight hunger

    In the fight against food waste and hunger, SPAR...

    Major new Lucozade masterbrand platform unveiled

    Marking the biggest relaunch in Lucozade’s history, the brand...

    Post Office scandal: Ex-boss apologises for ‘subbies with hand in the till’ comment

    A former boss at the Post Office said he will “regret for the rest of his life” writing in an email suggesting “subbies with...

    McCain Foods acquires plant-based frozen food brand

    McCain Foods has acquired Strong Roots, a plant-based frozen food manufacturer based in Ireland. The move builds on a deal announced in 2021 that saw...

    Vape restrictions in Tobacco and Vapes Bill undermine public health goals, says Responsible Vaping APPG

    Government should take a comprehensive evidence-based approach to vaping regulation, the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Responsible Vaping has said, ahead of Second Reading...