Welsh Government would implement same rule change proposed in England to increase smoking age to 18
The Welsh Government has said it would look to implement rules being proposed in England to increase the age at which people can buy tobacco and cigarettes.
A new independent review into tobacco control led by Dr Javed Khan OBE was published on Thursday.
The review recommends 15 interventions to give the UK Government ‘the best chance’ of meeting its target for England to be smoke-free by 2030.
Wales has the same ambition to be smoke-free by 2030 and launched a consultation in December last year on its draft tobacco control strategy.
The Khan Review has recommended the age at which tobacco and cigarettes can be bought would rise from 18 by one year every year so “the children of today will never be allowed to buy tobacco.”
Smokers in the most deprived areas of the country spend a higher proportion of their income on tobacco. The average smoker in the North East spends over 10% of their income on tobacco, compared to just over 6% in the South East.
Dr Khan has also recommended:
- Setting aside an extra £125m for smoke free policies, with an extra £70 million per year ring-fenced for stop smoking services
- Promotion of vapes as an effective “swap to stop” tool to help people quit smoking
- Introducing a licensing system for shops to sell tobacco and banning supermarkets altogether
- Increasing duties on products and banning duty-free tobacco
The UK Government has not agreed to the plan, but said it would consider it.
A Welsh Government said it will work closely with UK Government counteparts to strengthen rules on nicotine products, a spokesperson said:
“We support measures to strengthen the regulatory framework on tobacco and nicotine products, particularly those designed to reduce the number of young people who start smoking.”
“We would work closely with the UK government if proposals were developed to increase the smoking age from 18.”