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Smoking Age to Increase to 18?


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bbc.co.uk

 

Smoking age could increase to 18

 

A raised limit would be in line with the US and other EU states

Ministers are considering raising the minimum legal age for buying tobacco in England from 16 to 18, the Department of Health has said.

Campaigners argue bringing the law on cigarettes into line with that on alcohol would reduce under-age smokers.

 

The government has promised to look into their evidence, but department sources told the BBC the law was unlikely to change in the near future.

 

In Scotland, MSPs are already looking at raising the minimum legal age to 18.

 

BBC political correspondent Sean Curran said: "Health department sources insist no decisions have been taken and say the law is unlikely to change in the near future."

 

Public places ban

 

The proposals to protect under-18s won backing from groups on all sides of the smoking lobby.

 

"I think it's important to emphasise that smoking is an adult activity and anything that can discourage children from smoking is a good thing," Simon Clarke from the pro-smoking group Forest told BBC Radio Five Live.

 

But he said it would be difficult to enforce a new law.

 

However, Colin Finch, legal and parliamentary representative from the National Federation of Retail Newsagents reckoned life would be easier for shop-owners if the age was raised.

 

The Royal College of GPs and anti-smoking group Ash both welcomed the proposals but questioned government motives.

 

"If we can make it a little bit more difficult for teenagers to start smoking then hopefully by the time they get to be a bit older they will be more aware that they are not immune to the effects of smoking," said Dr Sarah Jarvis from the Royal College of GPs.

 

But she said the move could be seen an attempt to divert attention away from some MPs' criticism of its Health Bill, which would bring in a partial smoking ban in public places.

 

"I am quite convinced that that is exactly what they are doing," she said.

 

Ian Willmore from Ash described the news as a "rather transparent government attempt to change the subject".

 

"The Government's run into serious trouble over the Health Bill because it's produced these absurd proposals for banning smoking in public places but continuing to allow them in many pubs and clubs," he said.

 

Commons motion

 

Labour MP Jeff Ennis tabled a Commons motion in June to raise the minimum age in England to 18, which has been supported by more than 50 MPs.

 

Last week Mr Ennis said he would be tabling an amendment to the Health Bill - which will bring in the new rules on smoking in public - to raise the smoking age.

 

Mr Ennis sits on the committee which will scrutinise the bill.

 

A spokesman for the Department for Health said: "It is something that we are considering."

 

A poll conducted last year for the BBC found that four out of five people backed lifting the legal age to 18.

 

Of the 1,010 adults surveyed, 55% said the minimum age should go up to 21.

 

Meanwhile, nine out of 10 supported increasing the penalties for selling tobacco to children.

 

 

 

Think it'll make a difference?

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Same with alcohol - the legal drinking age is 18, but kids still drink because it makes them look older and think that they're "hard".

 

The problem with smoking is that it's more addictive, makes you stink and causes cancer. Pity that the kids who start smoking young are too stupid to realise the long term effects.

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Another good way is to educate children at an early age about not smoking. They could recruit people who have terminal cancer or a serious smoking related illness/disease' date=' and send them into schools to explain to kids the danger of smoking.[/quote']

 

Yeah but that dont work either in my opinion, ban advertising all you want, show shock ads with people suffering all you want, the fact will remain that underage kids will smoke if they want to because your average 14 year old coniders themselves immortal.

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Jeebus, turn this into a society where people cant make their own choices. If people wanna smoke under 18, leave it as it is. You say all these things like smokers don't know the effect of smoking, they know them clearly and yet still smoke. This won't affect any underage smokers, and I think its fairly daft to bring it in anyway.
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I wish they'd lower the age on drinking, maybe to 14. Yeah there would be an initial rush on kids drinking, then they'll realise when they've overindulged that maybe they should slow down abit. It would also stop them hanging round street corners with a bottle of white lightning, causing trouble. Sitting in a nice pub where someone can keep an eye on you and tell you when you've had too much is an ideal setting.
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I dunno, it could just work out safer for them. When your not legally allowed to drink, and you get your hands on some alcholic beverages, you tend to go mad cos your pleased you got some. I did that this week for definate, first time I got served at a bar, went mental, got wrecked and ended up spewing black sick at 1am in the morning and I thought I was dying. If I was legal to drink, it wouldn't be a big deal and I wouldn't go mad.
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There's some serious flaws in the laws. And just because that rhymes doesn't make it any less true. You can get married at 16 and not be able to legally have a glass of wine at your wedding. You're considered old enough to responsible for smoking and sex at 16, but you're still too young to vote on the government which will run the country you live in.

 

The fact is, young people will always be able to get their hands on fags or booze no matter what the age limits are set to. If it makes the government feel better, they can raise the age limits to anything they want, but the same group of 15 year olds will still be going out on a Friday night for their half bottle of Buckie and 20 L&B.

 

These days, some 13 year olds look 16, some 16 year olds look 18. As long as every shop doesn't need to ID every single one of it's customers, there will still be those who manage to get sold. This is actually one of the reasons I'm all for ID cards being brought in. Screw terrorism and all that. If it was made the law that every single person buying lottery/fags/booze/solvents/fireworks had to show their ID card, this would cut out a hell of a lot of the underage nonsense. Right now, it's up to the person working behind the till to ask for ID. I've been in that position. With some people, you think "Ah, they look around 18, no one else is around, I'm tired, I'll just sell them their booze because I can't be bothered with a fuss and no one will find out". With others, you're afraid to ask for ID because it could be embaressing. I've felt that before. A women came up, asked for ciggies, I asked her for ID and on her driver's licence it said she was about 28. That's not something that most staff members want to do.

 

If everyone had an ID card that required to be swiped before you bought anything, it would instantly reveal who was trying to get away with being underage and who was genuine. As it is, there's always going to be those who slip through the cracks.

 

Personally, I can't wait until March when no one can smoke in pubs here and I can finally enjoy the stale smell of nuts, drink and overpowering aftershave.

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I dunno' date=' it could just work out safer for them. When your not legally allowed to drink, and you get your hands on some alcholic beverages, you tend to go mad cos your pleased you got some. I did that this week for definate, first time I got served at a bar, went mental, got wrecked and ended up spewing black sick at 1am in the morning and I thought I was dying. If I was legal to drink, it wouldn't be a big deal and I wouldn't go mad.[/quote']

I still go mad from time to time.

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But do you have people with you? When JJ takes me out somewhere, he makes sure I don't go too mad and vice versa, cos I was basically on my own, I drunk too much, and ended up in Droitwich town at 12 midnight, dancing on my own, which could have been dangerous looking back.
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Compulsory ID cards would make things so much easier. I know it's all "Big Brother"-esque and taking away people's "freedom of choice"' date=' but it would make life so much easier for the law-abiding.[/quote']

oh shut up you've never bought alcohol in your life.

 

But do you have people with you? When JJ takes me out somewhere' date=' he makes sure I don't go too mad and vice versa, cos I was basically on my own, I drunk too much, and ended up in Droitwich town at 12 midnight, dancing on my own, which could have been dangerous looking back.[/quote']

I go out with my friends but I still drink as much as what I would have when I went out when I was 15.

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