Doctors have called for a complete ban on the sale of cigarettes to anyone born after 2000 - even when they reach 18.
The proposed programme of 'progressive prohibition' is aimed at curbing the number of smoking related deaths by reducing the amount of young people who take up smoking.
"Humanity has never developed anything more deadly than the cigarette," said Tim Crocker-Buqué, a specialist registrar in public health medicine with the NHS.
"The combination of its addictive power and devastating health effects combined with historical social norms and powerful advertising campaigns killed 100 million people in the 20th century."
Leading doctors gathered together to urge the British Medical Association (BMA) to lobby for the ban at their annual public medical health conference.
Dr Crocker-Buqué said eight out of 10 smokers began smoking as teenagers and someone who began smoking at 15 was three times more likely to die from smoking-related cancer than someone who started in their 20s.
"This is a highly addictive product that kills 50 per cent of the users and it is so patently over the balance of harm that we must now work to prevent the next generation from falling into the nicotine trap," he added.
But the proposal hasn't received unanimous support from health officials. Ian Kennedy, another public health medicine registrar, questioned if banning cigarettes for a certain section of the population was sustainable and asked why 13 to 14-year-olds were being targeted.
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