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A major change in smoking laws and costs could be announced TOMORROW after the landmark report was unveiled

PLANS to raise the smoking age to 21 and impose new taxes on tobacco companies could be announced tomorrow.

The measures may be announced after the release of a delayed review of the habit commissioned by Health Minister Sajid Javid.

Pressure to curb smoking has mounted after another 600,000 under-30s were torched during the pandemic

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Pressure to curb smoking has mounted after another 600,000 under-30s were torched during the pandemicPhoto credit: Getty

The review was conducted by Javed Khan, former executive director of children’s charity Barnardo’s.

Pressure to curb smoking has mounted after an additional 600,000 under-30s were lit during the pandemic – a 25 per cent rise.

In an interview, Khan stressed that a UK target of reducing smoking to just 5 per cent of the population by 2030 is unachievable without immediate government action to reduce sales.

Last year, a source close to anti-smoking czar Mr Khan said: “The stance he took in the meetings I had with him was quite radical.”

But raising the age of 18 and raising taxes could go up in smoke amid skepticism across government, the Guardian reported.

A government source told The Sun that ministers clearly have the option not to accept the results of the review.

A second source said as a “general principle, the view has always been that 18 is widely accepted as the age of adulthood”.

Attending Thursday’s review launch will be Chief Medical Officer Sir Chris Whitty, Health Secretary Maggie Throup and Shadow Health Secretary Andrew Gwynne.

There are 6 million smokers in England.

Mr Javid himself quit smoking last year when he became Health Secretary after Matt Hancock quit over his lockdown scandal revealed by The Sun.

As a general principle, it has always been believed that 18 is generally accepted as the age of adulthood

government source

It also aims to make vaping and e-cigarettes more accessible – as an alternative to cigarettes.

And taxing the tobacco industry could bring in £700m a year, which would then be used to provide e-cigarettes to the NHS to help Brits kick the bad habit.

A source added: “Sajid Javid is interested in health inequalities and he is interested in tackling public health issues, but the government is in a bind with right-wing MPs.

“With tobacco, they’re still nervous about some sort of nanny-state attack.”

Some sources claim that Khan wants the legal age to be 25 – but insiders think it’s more likely that the recommended age will be pushed back to 21.

This comes after a study warned that smoking singles are three times more likely to stay on the shelf than their non-smoking counterparts.

The smoking rate in the UK has fallen to less than 15 per cent over the past two decades.

https://www.the-sun.com/health/5513338/major-change-smoking-laws-age-cost-taxes-review/ A major change in smoking laws and costs could be announced TOMORROW after the landmark report was unveiled

DevanCole

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