OVER 18s would be banned from smoking in Rishi Sunak’s “phasing out” of fags.
And No10 last night did not deny reports that the Prime Minister is again planning to charge £10 for GP appointments to stop cancellations.
Over-18s could be banned from smoking in a “phasing out” of fags
Mr Sunak proposed the idea during last year’s Tory leadership campaign and sources say he still believes it would be the right thing to do – but very difficult to implement.
The tough new anti-smoking measures would raise the smoking age by a year each year to eventually make it illegal to buy cigarettes.
Ministers rejected the plan when it was previously proposed, but it is now thought to be on the table.
But last night it was criticized by activists who said it would encourage the black market.
Simon Clark, director of smokers’ group Forest, said: “Banning the sale of cigarettes to future generations of adults will not stop people smoking. It will simply drive cigarette sales underground and into the hands of criminal gangs.
“Treating adults like children by denying them the right to legally purchase cigarettes would take the nanny state to another level.”
He added: “Smoking rates have been falling for decades. The idea that any government would prioritize the fight against smoking at a time when the country is facing far more important challenges at home and abroad is frankly obscene.
“If it is true that the Prime Minister wants to introduce some of the toughest anti-smoking measures in the world, denying millions of adults their freedom of choice, it will be a Conservative government in name only.”
But anti-smoking lobbyists ASH said: “If the government is serious about making England smoke-free by 2030, it must reduce the rate of smoking among young people as well as help adult smokers to quit. ASH strongly supports raising the selling age, which is worked well in the US and is popular with the public.”