Ban smoking for those born after 2000 - what do you think?

(88 Posts)
funambulist Mon 23-Jun-14 10:27:05

www.theguardian.com/society/2014/jun/23/doctors-vote-cigarette-sale-ban-children-born-2000

I hope I've managed to do the link properly.

Tomorrow, the British Medical Association are having a vote on whether push for a permanent ban on the sale of cigarettes to those born after 2000. Those born in 2000 are 12 or 13 years old now, so, hopefully, not yet smoking. Is this a good way of ensuring that they never take it up and thus preventing the health consequences for the next generation?

JonSnowsPout Mon 23-Jun-14 10:36:45

So what happens to those who do take up smoking? Fines? Jail time? Criminal records?

The intention is good but its not well thought out or inforceable

VivaLeBeaver Mon 23-Jun-14 10:39:22

The majority of 13yos in dd's class smoke. So bit late for them.

Nope because if you ban it then the chances are they will more than likely want to, then you have a problem because it would be driven underground, they would end up smoking imports or badly made cigarettes and how would they be able to access help when needing to give up?

Also, as above how would it be implemented? What would happen if a teenager was caught smoking? And when they become adults how would that work?

Sadly the only thing you can do is educate against it.

Letthemtalk Mon 23-Jun-14 10:41:35

What so even when they turn 18 they are not allowed to buy cigarettes??? What a load of bollocks.

Xcountry Mon 23-Jun-14 10:41:59

What a waste of time, surely there are other more pressing issues that need addressing first

"JonSnowsPoutMon 23-Jun-14 10:36:45

So what happens to those who do take up smoking? Fines? Jail time? Criminal records?"
The ban is on the selling.

effectively criminalising cigarettes. Hmm I think I like it.

Poofus Mon 23-Jun-14 10:44:17

Surely they are 13 or 14 now, not 12 or 13? Am in the wrong year?

funambulist Mon 23-Jun-14 10:56:56

Sorry, Poofus you are right. 13 or 14 now, so still 4-5 years away from being able to buy cigarettes legally.

I suppose as a non-smoker with relatives who have died young of smoking related diseases it's difficult for me to be objective. The adult smokers I know seem to spend most of the their time trying (unsuccessfully) to give up and all wish that they had never started. Sadly smoking is incredibly addictive, so once you've started then it is really hard to stop. I have huge respect for those who manage it, I'm sure it would be beyond me.

The tobacco manufacturers are vehemently opposed to the BMA motion, which makes me think that maybe it is a good thing. I think that they are well aware that they need to get young people smoking to ensure a continuing market for their product.

BertieBotts Mon 23-Jun-14 11:17:41

It seems like a bizarre idea. It would make more sense to have a total ban with a phase out period of maybe 5 years where people are encouraged to quit. Or maybe only people who already smoke could buy cigarettes grin (How would you police that??)

The thing is that for every kid born in 2000 they're going to know someone who was born in 1999 or earlier. It's going to create huge peer pressure issues, most children start smoking before they're old enough to make a proper decision about it anyway which means a load of adults who got hold of cigarettes fairly easily but now they are old enough to smoke themselves, can't.

ivykaty44 Mon 23-Jun-14 11:20:22

I think making it as difficult as possible for people to start smoking would be an excellent idea, as once they start it is much harder to get them to stop

BertieBotts Mon 23-Jun-14 11:21:28

Or maybe I just need to think about it for longer. It seems interesting.

HercShipwright Mon 23-Jun-14 11:23:38

Fine. So long as they do the same thing for alcohol. Very good idea.

We manage to ban other drugs so why not cigarettes? Clearly, like other drugs which are currently illegal, it will still be possible to obtain them through other sources but at least it will make it much harder to get hold of. Or are those who are think it's impractical also suggesting we should legalise or decriminalise all drugs?

poster Xcountry Fri 23-Apr-14 10:41:59
What a waste of time, surely there are other more pressing issues that need addressing first

Xcountry smoking-related diseases cost the NHS between £2.7bn and £5.2bn. I think that's pretty pressing.

CoteDAzur Mon 23-Jun-14 11:35:39

There is something called 'equality' in law which makes it rather impossible to ban something only for a certain group of people.

It might be called 'discrimination'.

Ban it completely. Make them prescription-only, in limited numbers, and get GPs to push people onto e-cigs and nicotine patches as much as possible to get them to quit.

No government is going to make a law which makes something illegal dependent on the person's date of birth - they can limit things by age, but no way they are going to say "If you turn 18 on x date you can do this, but we'll fine you and put you in jail if your birthday is one day later." The challenges would be too expensive and time-consuming.

Yes people will still import them, but driving down the supply and making smoking a "drug habit" will make it a minority activity, and denormalise it.

funambulist Mon 23-Jun-14 11:49:36

I think that the bar on age discrimination relates only to employment.

In fact we discriminate based on age all the time and currently you can't buy cigarettes if you are under 18.

If the BMA motion were to be taken up by Parliament then in 2019 you couldn't buy cigarettes if you were under 19, in 2020 you couldn't buy them if you were under 20 etc. Presumably anyone buying cigarettes would have to show ID to prove their age. I guess that those around 18 probably already have to do this?

expatinscotland Mon 23-Jun-14 11:52:29

Ban alcohol sales, too.

funambulist Mon 23-Jun-14 11:53:31

I don't think that the BMA motion has suggested what penalties there would be.

At the moment those under 18 can't buy cigarettes, but I don't think that underage smokers are penalised in any way are they? Isn't it the shopkeepers who sell to children who have action taken against them?

Perhaps the law would just make the sale of cigarettes to someone born after 2000 illegal so that shopkeepers would have to ask for proof of age?

It would certainly be an interesting law to draft.

Sirzy Mon 23-Jun-14 11:56:53

It would be impossible to police.

mummybearah Mon 23-Jun-14 11:56:58

Eurgh, think it's ridiculous. Why not also impose a drinking ban- those who are drunk do more harm!

You can't stop people from making such choices, we are not in a dictatorship.

But laws that discriminate on age are usually 'justified' in some way. So you can't do certain things until you are 14/16/18/etc, because of the health differences in young bodies and mature ones. Or laws change when you get 'old', because we no longer expect people to work fulltime, or they need to get a health check to keep doing something which may be affected by things that change with older age.

I don't think there are any studies that show a health difference between smoking for a 25 yo and a 35 yo, so how would the law justify age discrimination?

Alcohol is different from tobacco though. Everyone who smokes affects their own health and that of people around them. Having a glass of wine with a meal does not affect my health or that of anyone else, unless I get straight into a car and drive home.

Excessive drinking is a problem. All smoking is a problem.

Plus of course, I could make my own alcohol any time I feel like it grin

funambulist Mon 23-Jun-14 12:00:18

Hmm. I would argue that if you become addicted to nicotine as a child you cease to have a choice about smoking. It is incredibly hard to stop once you've started.

ICanHearYou Mon 23-Jun-14 12:01:00

But when they get to 15, what will they roll their joints with?

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