Doctors will vote tomorrow on whether to push for a permanent ban on the sale of cigarettes to anyone born after the year 2000 in a bid to protect the next generation of children from the deadly effects of smoking.
If the motion is passed at the British Medical Association’s annual meeting on Tuesday, the doctors union will lobby the government to implement the policy in the same way it successfully pushed for a ban on lighting up in public places and on smoking in cars carrying children, after votes in 2002 and 2011.
According to official figures, in 2012 23% of pupils in England aged 11 to 15 had tried smoking at least once, although the proportion has been decreasing since 1996, when it was 46%.
Of current smokers or people who smoked regularly at some point in their life, 66% said they had started smoking before they were 18. The age at which someone can be legally sold cigarettes rose from 16 to 18 in 2007.
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