A group of British members of parliament has called on the UK government to consider raising the age of sale of cigarettes to 21 from 18 to end the “tobacco epidemic” by the end of the decade, Sky News reported on Wednesday (June 9).

The All Party Parliamentary Group on Smoking and Health said the age of sale should be increased from 18 as part of tougher regulations to stop children and young people from becoming smokers, as well as to help current smokers quit, the report added.

According to Sky News, the group is also calling for a “polluter pays” amendment to the Health and Social Care Bill to get funding for a tobacco control programme, ensuring manufacturers pay to deliver an end to smoking.

It is also demanding targeted investment to provide extra support to help smokers quit in areas and communities where smoking does the most damage, including people in routine and manual jobs, those who are unemployed, individuals living in social housing, or those who have a mental health condition or are pregnant.

The group’s recommendations have been backed by health charities and medical organisations.

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