What You Need to Know About the Upcoming UK Smoking Ban

The UK Tobacco and Vapes Bill 2024 will ensure that those born on or after January 1, 2009, will never legally be allowed to purchase tobacco in their lifetime. 

Smoke-Free Generation

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On March 20, 2024, the UK government introduced a Bill to Parliament stipulating how to enforce a smoke-free generation.

New Smokers at a Peak

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The Analysis for Action on Smoking Health (ASH) conducted by UCL Researchers suggests that almost 127,500 young adults aged between 18 and 25 start smoking each year in the UK. 

All Onboard for the Bill

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Both the Action on Smoking Health and Smokefree Action Coalition, a group of over 300 health organisations and charities, have strongly supported passing the Bill. 

Impact Assessment Shows Positivity

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Surprisingly, the government’s impact assessment of the Bill has found that raising the legal smoking age will have a positive impact worth about £18.6 billion. 

Less Smoking, More Work

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This staggering amount is proportionately based on productivity gains, whereby those who smoke less or quit will increase productivity in the workforce. 

Tobacco Duty Revenue to Be Accounted For

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The £18.6 billion doesn’t mention the HMRC (Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs); therefore, this calculation doesn’t account for the tax revenue for decreased tobacco consumption. 

Positives Outweigh the Loss

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However, even without considering the losses, the government believes that reducing smoking will still outweigh the costs and have significant economic and financial benefits for society. 

Illegal Tobacco Sales

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If the Bill is passed into law, it will be implemented on January 1, 2027, and those born in 2009 can no longer legally be sold tobacco. 

Reduce Youth Vaping

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In all four parts of the UK, it is already an offence to sell nicotine vaping products to those under 18. But, this Bill would make it an offence to sell non-nicotine vaping products to under-18s, thus enforcing stricter rules. 

Controlling Tobacco in the UK

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The Bill aims to control tobacco and vaping across the UK. However, certain parts apply to specific areas, while others only apply at a national level. 

Four Parts of the UK Affected

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The Bill would directly affect England and Wales and adjust the existing age of sales legislation in Northern Ireland and Scotland.  

New Penalty Fines

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Currently, one has to be 18 years or older to purchase tobacco, but the Bill will make it an offence to sell tobacco to those born in 2009 or after that, with new penalty fines of £100 for selling cigarettes or vapes to children. 

Those in Agreement Versus the Opposition

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Two-thirds (66%) of adults in Great Britain already support the legislation, with a mere 14% in opposition. 

Swapping Cigarettes for Vapes

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The UK Vaping Industry Association (UKVIA) has voiced their concerns about the negative effect this Bill could have on a number of people who have used vaping as an alternative to stop smoking and those who could potentially do the same. 

Excise Duty on Vapes

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Chancellor Jeremy Hunt announced in March 2024 that in October 2026, the government will introduce an excise duty on vaping products. This tax is imposed on harmful substances produced, sold, or used domestically. 

The Vape Wins

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But there is still good news for the vapers: the government will implement a once-off tax tobacco duty as an incentive to choose vaping over smoking. 

Prime Minister Backs Legislation

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This legislation has the backing of the Prime Minister, and Labour has given hints of solid support. The Conservative MPs will have a free vote on the matter.

The post UK Prepares for Smoking Ban, Here’s What You Need to Know first appeared on Swift Feed.

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