The Guardian reports that the British Medical Association has voted in making the United Kingdom a tobacco-free society by 2035 by permanently banning the sale of cigarettes to anyone born after the year 2,000.
Tim Crocker-Buque, a specialist registrar in public health medicine, who proposed the motion, said it represented an opportunity to make the UK the first country to eradicate cigarettes. "Smoking is not a rational, informed choice of adulthood," he said. "Eighty per cent of smokers start as teenagers as a result of intense peer pressure.
"Smokers who start smoking at age 15 are three times as likely to die of smoking-related cancer as someone who starts in their mid-20s."
The proposal was supported by Sheila Hollins, chair of the BMA's board of science, who said it would help "break the cycle of children starting to smoke" and be a step towards achieving the association's goal of a tobacco-free society by 2035.
A number of doctors spoke against the proposal. Yohanna Takwoingi from Birmingham said the number of 11 to 15-year-olds smoking had halved in 16 years. "Seeking a headline ban is a headline-grabbing initiative that may lead to ridicule of the profession," he said. He also said that alcohol should be banned if tobacco was.
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