Could Sunak stub out smoking in the UK? A guide to the Tobacco and Vapes Bill


The Tobacco and Vapes Bill, outlined in the King’s Speech in November 2023,promises to gradually bring in one of the world’s toughest anti-smoking regimes in the world. The plan, announced by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, would phase in a ban by raising the age for legally buying tobacco products in England by one year every year, a move he said would be the biggest public health intervention in a generation.

“While medical professionals and others agree the Bill will help health outcomes, the gradual raising on the smoking age means these benefits will not happen anytime soon, perhaps not for decades. That suggests it will do nothing to deal with the government’s more immediate challenges for the NHS, including record high backlogs for treatment and staff retention.” Joshua Opeaye, Political Consultant for health policy, and author of the report.

Download the report

This Dods Political Intelligence report provides a one-stop guide to Sunak’s smoking ban plan, including the Tobacco and Vapes Bill and related consultation, a brief history of tobacco legislation in the UK and abroad, reaction from parliamentarians and stakeholders, and concluding Dods insight.

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