The U.K. will embrace a New Zealand-style generational tobacco ban if the Labour Party wins the next elections, reports the Daily Mail, citing a BBC interview with Shadow Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Wes Streeting.
In 2008, New Zealand passed legislation banning the sale of cigarettes to anyone born after 2008. The Act also slashed the number of outlets able to sell cigarettes and cut nicotine in cigarettes to nonaddictive levels.
Interviewed by BBC Radio 4, Streeting said he was keen to adopt a plan that would be workable if Labour won the next election.
“The question for me on the New Zealand-style smoking ban isn’t whether it’s desirable because I think in policy terms, and in terms of public opinion, interestingly, I think there is an appetite and a policy driver there to do it,” he said.
Ministers have previously set an objective for England to be smoke-free by 2030. An independent review by Javed Khan, ordered by former Health Secretary Sajid Javid, was published in August and recommended a series of actions to help eradicate smoking in England.
Khan warned that, without further action, England will miss the 2030 target by at least seven years, and the poorest areas in society will not meet it until 2044.
Smoking rates in the U.K. have fallen from about half of the population in the 1970s to around just 15 percent now.