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U.K. to Introduce Generational Ban

The UK government is set to introduce a bill in parliament aimed at phasing out smoking among young people by prohibiting nicotine sales for future generations.

The Tobacco and Vapes Bill, if passed unamended, will be one of the world’s toughest anti-tobacco laws and prevent children turning 15 this year or younger from ever being able to be legally sold nicotine products.

The government said smoking itself would not be criminalized. Therefore, anyone who can legally buy tobacco now will not be prevented from doing so in the future, according to Reuters.

“If we want to build a better future for our children, we need to tackle the single biggest entirely preventable cause of ill-health, disability, and death: smoking,” Conservative Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said in a statement.

Critics say the move is “unconservative,” and former prime minister Liz Truss is one of several members of the governing party who have said they will vote against the legislation.

Despite the opposition, the legislation is expected to pass with the opposition Labour Party suggesting it would support the measure.

Last month, a similar law introduced by New Zealand banning tobacco sales to those born after Jan. 1, 2009 was repealed by the country’s new coalition government.