• December 10, 2023

All we know about whether the UK will ban smoking like New Zealand


RISHI SUNAK announced his plan to make the UK smoke-free by 2030, meaning kids currently under-14 will never be able to legally buy cigarettes.

New Zealand brought in a similar ban back in 2021, so is the UK following suit and bringing in laws to stamp out smoking?

The UK plans to ban youngsters from smoking altogether


The UK plans to ban youngsters from smoking altogetherCredit: Getty

Will the UK ban smoking?

The UK has a plan in place to be smoke-free by 2030.

The All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) has laid out 12 steps to help the government achieve this target.

These steps include reducing the appeal and availability of cigarettes to children, raising the age of buying cigarettes from 18 to 21, and regularly updating the Smoke-free 2030 strategy.

Some counties have already banned smoking outside cafes, pubs, bars and restaurants, including New Zealand.

This was due to the rise in people eating and drinking outside during the coronavirus pandemic.

Smokers and non-smokers were forced to mix more while dining al fresco, something that wasn’t appreciated by non-smokers.

In his speech at the 2023 Conservative Party conference in Manchester, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak pledged to “put the next generation first” as he announced intentions to ban youngsters from smoking altogether.

Under new laws, a 14-year-old today will never be able to legally purchase fags.

The PM said smoking costs the country an eye-watering £17bn a year.

He said his decision “will save more lives” than any other the Conservative Party could make.

And he pledged to make it more difficult for children to get their hands on vapes.

Outlawing fags will be a free vote for all MPs, but is likely to pass in the Commons regardless.

Why did New Zealand ban smoking?

New Zealand banned smoking to curb younger generations from becoming addicted to nicotine and improve the nation’s health.

From December 2021, anyone born in 2008 onwards is not permitted by law to purchase cigarettes.

This is just the start, with New Zealand hoping to reduce its national smoking rate to five per cent per cent by 2025.

New Zealand will also reduce the number of establishments selling cigarettes from around 8,000 to 500.

When was smoking banned inside pubs in the UK?

On July 7, 2007 it became illegal to smoke inside pubs, bars, restaurants and nightclubs in the UK.

Some pubs had already banned smoking inside their establishments before the ban came into full effect.

Wetherspoons stopped people smoking inside its premises in May 2006.

How to stop smoking

There are multiple different avenues people can go down to stop smoking.

Some people are able to go cold turkey, but others require a different approach and a little help.

One of the best ways to quit smoking is to plan how you’re going to achieve this goal.

Work out when you crave a cigarette the most and find something else to do to fill that time.

Making friends and family aware of your plan to quit so they can help you on your journey is also advisable.

Almost half of the UK’s seven million smokers want to quit, but only 14 per cent do it as a New Year’s resolution.

Expert hacks to kick the habit for good include:

Behavioural psychologist Dr Jo Hemmings recommends holding an ice cube to your wrist whenever you have a craving.

She says: “It distracts you and breaks the auto-response to light up.”

Another method is the “4-7-8” breathing technique.

Dr Jo says: “Breathe in for a count of four, hold it for seven, then slowly release for a count of eight.”

At a party, the NHS Stop Smoking site recommends sticking with non­­-­smoking guests.

The American Cancer Society recommends lighting a candle or incense stick instead of a cigarette.


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