• June 22, 2024

Pointless gesture

 Pointless gesture

Campaigners in the UK have criticised calls to raise the legal age for buying tobacco from 18 to 21.

A press note issued by the smokers’ group Forest said this proposal had been included in a report by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Smoking and Health, which was run by the anti-smoking group Action on Smoking and Health (ASH).

Other proposals were said to include further restrictions on the portrayal of smoking on television and in films, and introducing a levy on tobacco companies that would be used to fund further anti-smoking initiatives.

“These proposals infantilise young adults,” Forest director Simon Clark was quoted as saying. “If you’re 18 and old enough to vote, drive a car and join the army you’re old enough to make an informed decision to smoke.

“Raising the current age at which you can buy tobacco, or censoring films and TV programmes that try to depict real life, takes paternalism to a new level.

“The real sickness in society is not smoking, which is in long-term decline across all age groups, but the creeping prohibition that is removing our ability to make choices and take personal responsibility for our own lives.

“Ultimately, if you treat adults like children, don’t be surprised if they behave like children.”