Voices: Do you back Rishi Sunak’s smoking ban? Join The Independent Debate


Britain is moving to prohibit tobacco sales to those born after 2009 in a bid to create a smoke-free generation - but do you think Rishi Sunak’s controversial smoking ban is a good idea?

The Tobacco and Vapes Bill passed its first Commons vote with a majority of 316 this week.

Labour support helped the bill overcome opposition led by Liz Truss. But notable figures in the Tory party, such as Kemi Badenoch, Robert Jenrick, and Suella Braverman voted against it.

Ms Truss denounced her successor’s plan as a “virtue-signalling piece of legislation about protecting adults from themselves in the future”.

Health Secretary Victoria Atkins acknowledged these concerns, but countered: “Nicotine robs people of their freedom to choose. The vast majority of smokers start when they are young, and three-quarters say that if they could turn back the clock they would not have started,” she added.

Former health secretary Lord Clarke, however, warned the move risked being difficult to enforce.

“You will get to a stage where if you are 42 years of age, you will be able to buy them but someone aged 41 will not be allowed to,” he told The Telegraph. “Does that mean you will have to produce your birth certificate? It may prove very difficult to enforce. Future generations will have to see whether it works or not.”

In the end, 57 Tory MPs defied Rishi Sunak’s call. Support for the bill came from various parties, with 178 Conservatives, 160 Labour MPs, and others voting in favor.

We want to know what you think. Are Sunak’s plans to create a smoke-free generation the best way to stamp out smoking?

Or should people be free to choose to smoke if they want to?

Share your thoughts by adding them in the comments - we’ll highlight the most insightful ones as they come in.

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