The SoR is in favour of the government’s new Tobacco and Vapes Bill

The Bill aims to create the first Smokefree Generation and will also tackle youth vaping.

Published: 15 April 2024 Government & NHS

The Society of Radiographers is supporting the Tobacco and Vapes Bill which aims to protect future generations from the harmful impacts of smoking. This Bill would mean anyone aged 15 or under in 2024 will never legally be able to be sold cigarettes or other tobacco products, even after they turn 18.

The Department of Health and Social Care estimates that a person with a smoking-related condition is admitted to hospital almost every minute in England. It is the UK’s single biggest preventable killer which costs the NHS and the economy an estimated £17 billion a year.

Last month, the Tobacco and Vapes Bill was introduced to Parliament to help create the first ever Smokefree Generation. Under the new Bill, people born on or after 1 January 2009 will never legally be able to be sold tobacco. It's the biggest public health intervention in decades which will also help level up the UK because smoking is one of the most significant and preventable drivers of disparities in health outcomes.

The phased approach means anyone who can legally buy tobacco now will not be prevented from doing so in future. In an effort to encourage those who currently smoke to consider quitting, the government has launched additional support including Stop Smoking Services across England, and free resources, tools and advice via NHS Better Health.

Tackling youth vaping

In addition, the Bill will set out new measures to reduce the appeal of vapes to children and young people. Following the worrying rise in the number of children using vapes, the Bill will introduce new powers to restrict vape flavours and packaging that is intentionally marketed at children and young people. It will also enable the government to change how vapes are displayed in shops, moving them out of sight of children and away from products that appeal to them, like sweets.

The Department of Health and Social Care said: “The long-term health impacts of vaping are unknown, and the nicotine contained within them can be highly addictive, with withdrawal sometimes causing anxiety, trouble concentrating and headaches. While vaping can play a role in helping adult smokers to quit, children should never vape.”

Learn more about the Tobacco and Vapes Bill and access related resources.