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Doctors To Lobby for a Smoke Free Generation

June 25, 2014
Public Health

cigarette stub

At the BMA annual representatives meeting in Harrogate yesterday, doctors voted unanimously in favour of a total ban on cigarette sales to anyone born after the year 2000. The BMA will now lobby the government to implement the policy in a similar way to the ban on smoking in public places which followed a BMA vote in 2002.

If it is imposed, the move would create the first smoke-free generation. Tim Crocker-Buque, who proposed the motion, said “Cigarette smoking is specifically a choice made by children that results in addiction in adulthood that is extremely difficult to give up. 80% of people who smoke start as teenagers. It’s very rare for people to make an informed decision in adulthood.”

In 2012 a similar proposal was thrown out by the lower house of the Australian parliament. Statistics published in 2012 suggest that 23% of pupils in England aged between 11 and 15 had tried smoking at least once, a decrease from 46% in 1996.

New research has found that teenagers who smoke menthol cigarettes are likely to smoke more cigarettes a day compared to their peers. The work carried out at the University of Waterloo in Canada also found a strong link between use of menthol cigarettes and an increase in the rate of nicotine addiction amongst teenagers.

You can read the University of Waterloo study here