Rebellion Looms Over Landmark Smoking Ban
A group of twelve Tory MPs are prepared to rebel against Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's proposed smoking ban, unless cigars are exempted from the restrictions.
Phasing Out Smoking
Sunak's plan involves gradually increasing the legal age to buy tobacco by one year every year, starting from 2027. This means that anyone born after January 1, 2009, who is currently 14 years old, will never be legally allowed to smoke.
Protecting the Cigar Industry
A group of senior MPs, including former ministers, have voiced concerns about the impact of the smoking ban on the £800 million UK cigar import industry. Last year, this industry contributed £141 million in tax revenue.
Concerns Over Shisha Pipes
There are also concerns about the potential consequences of outlawing shisha pipes, as it could have a detrimental effect on Middle Eastern restaurants.
A source from the Department of Health (DoH) revealed that the number of MPs expressing concerns privately about the proposed smoking ban is higher than those publicly criticizing the policy.
Consultation and Opposition
The government is currently seeking public opinion on the smoking ban proposal, with the consultation set to close early next month. However, Simon Clark, the head of the smokers group Forest, is urging for the entire policy to be abandoned, arguing for a choice between smoking and non-smoking.
Did you miss our previous article...