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Under-21s could be BANNED from buying cigarettes in plans to get UK smoke-free

BRITS under the age of 21 could be banned from buying cigarettes in a bid to get the UK smoke-free by 2030.

A ban on flavoured e-cigarettes alongside the age limit for smoking is also said to have been looked at by health officials.

Proposed plans could see the sale of cigarettes banned to people under the age of 21


Proposed plans could see the sale of cigarettes banned to people under the age of 21Credit: Getty

Health Secretary Sajid Javid is set to launch a new plan with one of the main aims being a crackdown on younger smokers.

Insiders told The Mirror that there could be a clampdown on flavoured vaping products such as mint and mango.

A plan to outlaw the sale of cigarettes to anyone under the age of 21 has also reportedly been discussed.

However no firm plans on smoking or vaping have yet been implemented.

Around 200,000 children in the UK are thought to smoke and medics have warned that these youngsters could go on to be life-long smokers.

A letter published by medics in the BMJ said: “Half the difference in life expectancy between rich and poor people is the result of smoking, and the economic, as well as health, gains from a smoke-free country will benefit most those in disadvantaged groups and disadvantaged regions.”

The World Health Organisation (WHO) previously said that flavoured vaping products were ‘harmful’ and said they ‘normalise’ smoking in children.

This is thought to be because they create flavours that seem appealing to a younger audience, such as bubblegum and watermelon.

Just last month the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Smoking and Health warned the government that it needs to act swiftly to ensure the country is smoke-free by 2030.

It highlighted comments from the UK’s chief medical officer Chris Whitty who warned fags are still more deadly than coronavirus, which brought the world to a standstill.

In 2007 the smoking ban came into force, making it illegal to smoke inside pubs, restaurants, nightclubs, work spaces, anywhere in the country.


As part of the APPG’s 12 step plan, a crackdown on young smokers would also be implemented.

The APPG said the government needs to “take control of tobacco” and take its place on the world stage.

To do this it will need to introduce measure such as giving out e-cigarettes on the NHS and banning them for people under 21.

Its report states that more regulations need to be put in place to protect children and young people from becoming smokers.

This includes additional health warnings on tobacco products – along with raising the age of sale to 21-years-old.

In a statement a Department of Health and Social Care spokesman said: “Smoking cuts lives short and costs the NHS billions – we will publish a plan later this year to set out how we will help the country become smoke free by 2030.”

Sources said that while the health secretary has looked at these plans, he is ‘sceptical’ about upping the age limit on sales to 21.

At present, only people aged over 18 can buy tobacco products.

People as young as 16 can smoke, but police have the power to confiscate fags from anyone 16 and under.

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