House of Parliament to vote on the Tobacco and Vapes Bill

MPs to vote on new Bill to save NHS billions

MPs are set to vote today on the landmark Tobacco and Vapes Bill that would see anyone born in 2009 and onwards unable to legally buy tobacco products, subsequently creating a ‘smokefree generation’.

Smoking is the UK’s biggest preventable killer and is responsible for 80,000 deaths a year. In England, someone with a smoking-related condition is admitted to hospital every single minute.

It is estimated that smoking costs the NHS and wider economy around £17bn a year, which is significantly higher than the £10bn accrued through tobacco taxation.

The Bill could create a smokefree generation and thus prevent more than 470,000 cases of heart disease, stroke, lung cancer and other diseases, according to the government.

Victoria Atkins comment

The second element of the Bill is geared toward tackling youth vaping by restricting marketing strategies that target children. This includes:

  • Moving where they are sold in shops
  • Changing how they are packaged
  • Limiting flavours

Anyone found unlawfully selling these products will be subject to fixed penalty notices, which would fund further enforcement action.

“Smoking is the number one preventable cause of disability, ill health and death in this country,” said public health minister, Andrea Leadsom. “Our plan will save lives, ease the strain on our NHS, and ensure a brighter future for our children.”

Professor Chris Whitty, England’s chief medical officer, added: “This Bill, if passed, will have a substantial impact - preventing disease, disability and premature deaths long into the future.”

Cancer Research UK’s executive director of policy, Dr Ian Walker, explained: “Today’s vote is a critical step towards the UK becoming a world leader in tobacco control.

“By voting in favour of the age of sale legislation, MPs will be putting us on the right side of history, and helping to create the first ever smokefree generation.”

Image credit: iStock

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