Man inhaling a vape

PM Rishi Sunak faces backlash amidst plan to create a ‘smokefree generation’

Young people in Manchester have expressed their anger and concerns about Sunak’s plans to ban smoking.

18-year-old Liam Singleton, a political science student at Manchester Met, said: “As much as you want to encourage people to stop smoking and vaping the ban is just stupid.

“There are better ways to approach these problems like raising the sales to boost the economy.”

Liam added: “There is a lot of problems going on like the economic crisis. Some people can’t afford to eat and he [Rishi Sunak] is just trying to shift focus on things that are less important.”

The proposed plan would make the sale of tobacco products to anyone born after 1 January, 2009. It was announced by the PM in his speech to the Tory Party conference.

The Tobacco and Vapes bill

Rishi Sunak’s bill to ban smoking of tobacco and vapes long term faces backlash and opposition from his MPs and England’s chief medical officer, Chris Whitty.

MPs were granted a a free vote on last month on the bill, meaning they do not have to follow a party whip to back it.

Although Labour is in favour of the bill, there are expectations of a rejection from the Tory party.

Professor Sir Chris Whitty said: “Cigarettes are a product designed to take your choice away”, adding that resistance against the plan was “surprising.”

Tobacco cigarettes. Credit: Chris Radburn/PA Wire

The plan has brought about objections from former PMs Liz Truss and Boris Johnson, who both argue it affects people’s freedom of choice.

Truss said the ban was “profoundly unconservative”, with Johnson describing it as “nuts.”

Vapes on sale at a shop. Credit – PA Media – Jacob King/PA Wire

19-year-old Tegan Lyons said: “People should have the choice to smoke and vape if they want to but I feel like the limit should be made to 18 years and over because you do find a lot of younger kids like 11-year-olds vaping which is crazy.”

Worldwide smoking bans

Measures in the Tabaco and Vapes Bill would constitute some of the toughest anti-smoking measures in the world.

According to the World Health Organisation than one quarter of the world’s population are covered by smoking bans in public spaces. There are 74 smoke-free countries.