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Rishi Sunak abandoned his “legacy” policy to ban smoking for future generations amid a backlash from the tobacco industry in the form of legal threats, lobbying and a charm offensive aimed at Conservative MPs, an investigation reveals.

The UK had been on course to become the first country to ban smoking for future generations, via the tobacco and vaping bill, which Downing Street hoped would help define Sunak’s place in British political history.

An investigation by the Guardian and the Examination, a non-profit newsroom that investigates global health threats, has uncovered how the UK’s largest cigarette companies fought against the policy, which would have raised the smoking age by one year every year.

After months of fierce opposition from the industry – and intervention from MPs and thinktanks with ties to tobacco firms – the proposal was excluded from the “wash-up” process, when outgoing governments choose which policies to fast-track and which to drop.

The policy, which in effect banned smoking for anyone born after 2009, was left out despite MPs having voted in favour of it.

Of course, it’s also possible that it wsa just an idiot idea.

10 thoughts on “Conspiracy!”

  1. Baccy companies lobby in their own interest. Quelle surprise!

    Of course we should ban that lobbying but we should also ban lobbying by sock-puppets, pressure groups, think tanks and single-issue fanatics. You shouldn’t be able to lobby an MP unless he’s yours and you are entitled to vote.

  2. How would that even work? It’s not like young people get punished for actual crimes these days, so how would you catch and punish one for being “too young to smoke”?

    Oh wait. They would catch and punish the vendor for selling the young’un smokes. Probably through fines, i.e. more taxes.

  3. Logical next step after the ban on drugs was so successful. Next will be alcohol because nobody has a still or a pot.
    In parallel we are going to be banning meat and, well everything else that makes life worth living.

    Better start making friends with my local drug lord. New business opportunities are opening up for him to exploit.

  4. The fact that the last person to enact this policy was Jackboot Jacinda should have been warning enough.

    The fact that Tory MPs voted for it is warning enough for me.

  5. I gave up smoking a decade ago but this particular idea (amidst staggering competition) is the single most stupid idea I have ever seen.

  6. On July fifth he will pronounce himself gobsmacked that even those who have never voted anything but Conservative turned against him, in the faint hope that the next one will be slightly less insane.

  7. Dear Mr Worstall

    Not an idiot idea for the Blob: it would require proof of age to be presented by an increasing cohort of the sheeple, and so it would come to pass that ID cards will be essential for the success of this “public health” policy, i.e. to inconvenience and humiliate smokers and at the same time roll out ID cards which the Blob have been aching to re-introduce since shortly after WWII. Win, win and trebles all round.


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