OVER 18s will be banned from smoking in a “phasing out” of fags being drawn up by Rishi Sunak.
And No10 did not deny reports last night that the PM is looking again at charging £10 for a GP appointments to stop cancellations.
Mr Sunak suggested the idea during last year’s Tory leadership campaign and sources say he still believes it would be the right thing to do – but very hard to implement.
The tough new anti-smoking measures would see the smoking age increased by a year every year to eventually make it illegal for anyone to buy cigarettes.
The plan was rejected by ministers when suggested previously, but is now understood to be on the table.
But last night it was slammed by campaigners, who said it would fuel black market.
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Simon Clark, director of the smokers’ group Forest, said: “Prohibiting the sale of cigarettes to future generations of adults won’t stop people smoking. It will simply drive the sale of cigarettes underground and into the hands of criminal gangs.
“Treating adults like children by denying them the right to buy cigarettes legally would take the nanny state to another level.”
He added: “Smoking rates have been falling for decades. The idea that any government would prioritise tackling smoking at a time when the country faces far more important challenges at home and abroad is frankly obscene.
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“If it’s true that the prime minister wants to introduce some of the world’s toughest anti-smoking measures, denying millions of adults the freedom to choose, it will be a Conservative government in name only.”
But anti-smoking lobbyists ASH said: “If the Government is serious about making England smokefree by 2030, it needs to reduce youth uptake as well as help adult smokers quit. ASH strongly supports raising the age of sale, it’s worked well in the US and is popular with the public.”
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