RCPCH responds to Government’s plans for a smokefree generation

Today Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has outlined his plans for a smokefree generation, including to raise the smoking age by one year every year.

This means a 14-year-old today will never be legally sold a cigarette. The Prime Minister also announced an upcoming consultation on restricting disposable vapes and regulating flavours and packaging to reduce their appeal to children. The College welcomes these plans and awaits further details on implementation and roll out. 
The Government’s announcement in full can be found on their website. 
RCPCH President, Dr Camilla Kingdon, said:

Any measures taken to reduce smoking uptake in children and young people is a welcome and positive step forward. As paediatricians, reducing harm to children and young people lies at the core of our work and stopping children and young people from starting to smoke decreases their chances of developing preventable diseases later in life. Smoking remains the single biggest cause of preventable illness and disease in the UK. We’re pleased to see the Government take bold steps, in line with the recommendations of the Khan Review, to create a smoke free generation. 
Just as bold action is needed to tackle smoking, so too is it needed to tackle the rise in youth vaping. We’re pleased to see that Government is heeding our warnings on disposable vapes and is now actively considering a ban, as well as wider restrictions on flavours, packaging and advertisement. We look forward to inputting into the upcoming consultation and urge the Government to complete this stream of work at pace and ban disposable vapes.