Tobacco-Free Generation: Should Under 14s Be Banned From Smoking For Life?

14/08/2014 17:02 | Updated 20 May 2015

Teenage boy (13-15) putting cigarette in mouth, behind tree

A radical plan to create the first 'tobacco-free generation' has won the backing of doctors.

The proposal would make it ILLEGAL for anyone born since 2000 to buy cigarettes and thus bring an end to smoking.

The 'truly radical' plan would mean anyone currently aged under 14 years old would never legally be able to buy cigarettes in Britain – creating the first 'tobacoo-free generation'.

The idea was mooted at the British Medical Association in Harrogate.

Dr Tim Crocker-Buque, from the BMA's Junior Doctors Committee, said: "As this generation reach 18 in 2018 they would be prevented from buying cigarettes for their lifetime in a move that would progressively phase out cigarette sales."

However some said it was 'craziest idea ever' and 'idiotic'.

Dr Yohanna Takwoingi, from the West Midlands, said there was 'nothing as attractive to a young person as the command "don't".'

Despite the reservations, doctors backed the proposals to push for a ban on sales to those born after 2000.

Chairman of the BMA's board of science Baroness Hollins said: "This motion is progressive and one which is supporting this ambitious target (to make Britain smoke-free by 2035)."

But the proposal was criticised – not surprisingly – by Simon Clark, director of the smokers' group Forest.

He said: "Criminalising adults for buying tobacco is illiberal and impractical.

"In 2035, for example, it could be legal for a 36-year-old to buy cigarettes but a 35-year-old might be committing an offence.

"Once again the BMA is indulging in gesture politics for the sake of a cheap headline."


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