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Sunak under fire over smoking ban plans for teens

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LONDON, April 16: British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak faces very vocal resistance against his plans to effectively ban smoking for anyone aged 15 and younger as a new bill comes up for a vote in the House of Commons on Tuesday.
The British Indian leader proposed the Tobacco and Vapes Bill last year and declared his vision for creating a “smokefree generation” by making it an offence to sell tobacco products to anyone born after January 1, 2009, which covers children aged 15.
Once it clears its parliamentary journey, the new legislation will introduce some of the world’s strictest anti-smoking laws in the country.
As there is Opposition backing for the bill in Parliament and governing Conservative MPs have a free vote on the bill, any Tory votes against the bill will not be seen as a full-blown rebellion against the Prime Minister.
But two of Sunak’s immediate predecessors, Liz Truss and Boris Johnson, have been leading a very vocal group of Tories who plan to vote against the bill as “un-Conservative” and taking away choice from the public.
Under the new law, smoking itself would not be criminalised, and anyone who can legally buy tobacco will not be prevented from doing so.
The ban aims to stop people from smoking even before they start as the government pointed to its highly addictive nature, with four in five smokers picking it up before the age of 20, remaining addicted for life. (PTI)

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