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UK’s Sunak Touts Plan to a ‘Smoke-Free’ Young Generation

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak speaks at the Conservative Party annual conference at Manchester Central convention complex in Manchester, England, Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2023.InternationalIndiaAfricaBritain’s prime minister cited data showing that smoking was currently “unequivocally the single biggest preventable cause of death, disability and illness in our society,” as he delivered his Conservative Party conference speech on October 4.Rishi Sunak has unveiled his plan to phase out smoking in young people by 2040, and eventually eradicating the habit nationwide.The idea is to change the laws so that the legal age to buy cigarettes will rise annually, said the British PM at the ruling Conservative Party’s annual conference on Wednesday.© Photo : RishiSunak/XScreengrab of X post by UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.Screengrab of X post by UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.If selling tobacco products to people born on or after January 1, 2009 were made illegal, it could help create the first “smoke-free generation,” Sunak said.“Without a significant change, thousands of children will start smoking in the coming years and have their lives cut short as a result… I want to build a better and brighter future for our children, so that’s why I want to stamp out smoking for good,” the prime minister said.© Photo : RishiSunak/XScreengrab of X post by UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.Screengrab of X post by UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.The British government has been citing data showing that smoking has become the country’s “biggest preventable killer,” blamed for one in four cancer deaths. Overall, the death toll attributed to the habit stands at 64,000 annually in England.Not only would the measure proposed by Downing Street “save tens of thousands of lives,” but it has been touted as a means of slashing healthcare costs, saving the National health service (NHS) £2.4 billion a year.The plan was hailed as a “game changer” by charities such as the Asthma + Lung UK charitable company. On the other side of the aisle, smoking rights groups ripped the planned ban as “hideously illiberal and unconservative.”Britain’s opposition Labour Party has already given the proposed plan its backing.WorldDon’t Smoke, Vape Instead: UK Rolls Out ‘Swap to Stop’ Scheme to Fight Cigarettes11 April, 14:31 GMT

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