The call comes in with an independent report on smoking by ex-charity boss Javed Khan which was asked for by ministers.

He calls for the age at which people can buy cigarettes and tobacco in England to be increased every year so that eventually no one can buy them.

The plan would start from the current legal age of 18 and increase by one every year so that the children of today will never be allowed to buy tobacco.

The government have replied to the plan neither agreeing nor disagreeing saying they will consider it.

However, sources and likely yourself believe it is unlikely for ministers to agree to the move at this stage.

Especially since smoking rates have been falling since the 1970s, there are still six million smokers in England and 7 million in the whole of the UK.

The government acknowledges that new ideas are needed to convince the final remaining smokers to quit.

A smoke-free goal has been set for England, it’s ambitious the aim is to become smoke-free (less than 5% of the population smoking) by 2030.

To achieve this is will be a monumental challenge, this is why Health Secretary Sajid Javid requested former Barnardo’s chief exec Khan to do a review on current approaches and rules.

The idea of raising the age of sale has taken inspiration from what is being introduced in New Zealand which is banning the sale of tobacco products for anyone born after 2008.

Back in 2007, the legal age limit was increased from 16 to 18 and now 1 in 9 18 to 24 year olds smoke according to stats from the Office of National Statistics.

Some other tactics proposed by Khan are:

  • Increasing duties on products and banning duty-free tobacco
  • Promo of vapes as an effective tool to help people quit
  • Put aside an additional £125 million to increase smoke-free policies
  • Put an extra £70 million per year into stop-smoking services
  • Create a tobacco licensing system for shops and remove it from supermarkets altogether

Ministers said they will consider the suggestions as part of wider measures they plan on introducing this year to help improve the health of the nation.

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