Doctors have voted to ban the sale of cigarettes to anyone born after the year 2000.
The British Medical Association (BMA) will now push the Government to bring in the ban, which would mean that in the future retailers will be able to sell tobacco to some adults but not others.
The BMA has a strong track record on lobbying the Government, successfully getting bans on smoking in public places and in cars carrying children, after votes in 2002 and 2011.
Colin Wragg, Imperial Tobacco head of UK corporate affairs, told Retail Express that the Government must instead focus on effectively enforcing existing laws and proof of age schemes to curb underage sales.
He said: “Successful age verification schemes, such as No ID, No Sale! And Citizencard have contributed to a decrease in youth smoking to the lowest ever figure of 4% in 2011. Before considering new legislation, Government must give greater consideration to the effective enforcement of existing laws and proof-of-age schemes as a means of reducing under age sales. We believe that this can and should be achieved through education and information, not by legislation or an infringement of personal liberties.”
The Tobacco Manufacturer’s Association branded the BMA’s proposals “nonsensical” and said it should focus on education and eradicating the illegal tobacco market.
A spokesman said: “The BMA motion to ban the sale of a legal product to those born after 2000 would mean that in future, some members of the adult community will be able to purchase cigarettes and some will not. This form of prohibition is another indication of a poorly thought through tobacco control measure.
“The BMA should reject this nonsensical measure and instead focus on measures likely to reduce young people’s access to tobacco like a ban on proxy purchasing, education programmes and eradicating the illegal tobacco widely available in our communities.”
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