Legal smoking age in the UK could increase from 18 to 21

4 March 2019, 11:49

The smoking age in the UK could be about to change
The smoking age in the UK could be about to change. Picture: Getty
Alice Dear

By Alice Dear

The legal smoking age in the UK could be about to jump three years.

MPs are hoping to create a “smoke-free generation” by potentially raising the legal smoking age in the United Kingdom.

The cross-party group of MPs wants to raise the legal age as well as introduce a tax on big tobacco brands which will help discourage young people from smoking.

The group also wants smoking shown on TV and film to be more limited.

Chair of the group, Tory MP Bob Blackman, explained: “Smoking remains the leading cause of premature death and health inequalities.”

“Smoking remains the leading cause of premature death and health inequalities", says Tory MP Bob Blackman
“Smoking remains the leading cause of premature death and health inequalities", says Tory MP Bob Blackman. Picture: Getty

He added: “Ratcheting up tobacco regulation further and faster is essential to achieve the government’s vision for prevention, to increase healthy life expectancy while reducing inequalities between the richest and poorest in society.

The group have said: “Additional sources of funding and central government regulations are essential if declines in smoking prevalence are to be maintained and increased.”

They are proposing the age raise of smoking as a way to achieve the government’s plans of increasing life expectancy in the UK by five years by 2035.