SMOKING will be banished in Britain for youngsters, King Charles confirmed today.
At the state opening of Parliament, the monarch confirmed Rishi Sunak will mount an historic crackdown on cigarettes by raising the legal age every year until there are no smokers left.
Cigarettes will be banished in Britain for youngsters, King Charles confirmed todayCredit: Alamy
The PM has previously said: “We must tackle the single biggest entirely preventable cause of ill health disability and death.
“And that is smoking, and our country. Smoking causes, one in four cancer deaths.”
The new plans mean a 14-year-old today will never legally be sold a cigarette.
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 ban will be subject to a “free vote” in Parliament, meaning MPs will not be told how to vote by party enforcers.
But Labour has confirmed its intention to vote with the government, so the new law will fly through parliament.
The plan was originally rejected by ministers when suggested previously.
But Mr Sunak has now said: “People take up cigarettes when they are young. Four in five smokers have started by the time they are 20. Later, the vast majority try to quit.
“But many fail because they are addicted and they wish had never taken up the habit in the first place.
“If we could break that cycle if we could stop the start then we would be on our way to ending the biggest cause of preventable death and disease in our country.”
The Government is committed to making England “smoke free” by 2030, meaning fewer than 5 per cent of the public using cigarettes.