Smoking: Boris Johnson can’t impose plan to raise age of sale for one simple reason

Here’s where the bluff and bluster of Boris Johnson hits painful reality.

He has vowed to improve the nation’s health after the pandemic exposed entrenched social inequalities, worsened by poor diet and smoking.

A plan to cut smoking has been published today, proposing to raise the age at which cigarettes may be bought by one year each year, after ex-charity boss Javed Khan was asked to review the issue by ministers.

But there is one big reason why it won’t happen – comprised of two big problems.

Firstly, raising the legal smoking age over 18 would see a Conservative government telling adults they are not free to make bad decisions – and they are ideologically opposed to that.

After all, the smoking electorate may decide that voting Conservative is a bad decision – and stop doing it.

Secondly, it would look extremely bad for a prime minister who was fined for breaking lockdown rules and spent tens of thousands of pounds on a gold wallpapered renovation of Downing Street to lecture us on poor choices.

Expect this policy choice to be quietly retired. Smoking may create huge burdens for the NHS but Johnson won’t be the PM who stops it.

Source: Why Boris Johnson is intent on pouring cold water on new plans to raise the smoking age in England

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