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    ‘Sunak’s cigarette ban will lead to increase in illegal proxy sales’

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    Most young people fear that New Zealand-inspired anti-smoking ban may inadvertently fuel illegal proxy sales, states a recent report, highlighting a concern that also sits deeply within the retail community.

    According to a recent survey by Serve Legal, over 70 per cent of young people believe that prime minister Rishi Sunak’s cigarette ban will lead to an increase in illegal proxy sales.

    The survey covers various aspects, including public sentiment, vaping restrictions, government efforts, and insights from smokers. The majority of respondents feel that the government’s efforts have fallen short in achieving a smoke-free generation as smokers are largely unswayed by the government’s campaign, with only 13 per cent considering quitting, leaving a significant 87 per cent of this audience either undecided in their choice or resolute in their commitment to continue smoking.

    The survey consisted of 60 per cent of respondents who had consumed either a vape or a cigarette to some degree, whether that was socially or habitually with 20 per cent as habitual vapers and 11 per cent as habitual smokers.

    When asked on their approach to the Conservative’s Government’s plan to the smoking ban, a significant majority, equivalent to two-thirds of respondents, indicated their agreement or strong agreement with the ban, slightly over half of the respondents expressed confidence in its efficacy in progressing the nation toward a ‘smoke-free’ generation.

    Of note, 14 per cent of the survey participants, while endorsing the ban, expressed apprehensions regarding its potential effectiveness in realising the Government’s objectives.

    The survey results also cites feedbacks such as “People that want to smoke will find ways to do it, it’s the same with drugs” and “I believe it will increase the black market for cigarette demand.”

    A New Zealand-inspired anti-smoking policy is being proposed to be introduced in the UK which would mean cigarettes would be phased out completely for the next generation.

    As the legal smoking age would be increased by one year each year, it would potentially mean that a 14-year-old today would never be able to purchase a cigarette, hence leading to a chain of smoke-free generations to come.

    According to stats quoted by the PM, four in five smokers are said to have started by the time they are 20, which means that when done right, the policy holds the potential to eliminate the biggest cause of preventable death and disease in the country.

    In addition to the cigarette ban, the government has also proposed restrictions on disposable vape products that have managed to raise some eyebrows amongst young consumers.

    While 85 per cent of respondents were optimistic about the environmental benefits of these restrictions, more than half remain sceptical about their effectiveness in discouraging young people from taking up vaping.

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