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Press Release

Cross party support for raising the age of sale for tobacco from voters and Parliamentarians

20 Mar 2024

As the new Tobacco and Vapes Bill is published today [Wednesday 20th March], parliamentarians from across all major parties pledge their support and polling shows voters for all major parties back raising the age of sale for tobacco by a substantial margin.

The YouGov poll for ASH found that two thirds of adults support smokefree generation legislation (14% are opposed). Support is strongest among those who intend to vote for the two main parties in the general election (73% of those intending to vote Conservative, 72% Labour).[1] Tables below give breakdown of levels of support.

Bob Blackman CBE MP (Conservative), Chairman of the APPG on Smoking and Health said:

This Bill is welcomed by the APPG and by our fellow backbenchers across both houses of parliament committed to protecting future generations from the death and disease caused by smoking. The Prime Minister will have our strong support to accelerate the passage of the Bill and ensure that it is on the statute book before the general election.

Mary Kelly Foy MP (Labour) vice chair of the APPG on Smoking and Health said:

"This Bill will save lives and protect our communities by putting us on a path to a future where smoking is a dim and distant memory. Labour is backing this Bill and will lend its votes to the government to get this legislation passed before the next election. There is no more time to waste."

Lord Rennard (Liberal Democrat) vice chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Smoking and Health said:

My mother did not choose to die of smoking and to leave me and my brothers as orphans when I was 16. Most smokers start in their youth and struggle to kick the habit. That’s why I don’t want them to take it up in the first place; it harms them and many others. There is strong public support which will ensure that the Government can pass this legislation on a free vote, just as the previous Coalition government introduced the ban on smoking in cars carrying children.

Today health leaders have also shown their support, along with senior local elected members from across the political spectrum.


Notes to the Editor

Action on Smoking and Health is a health charity working to eliminate the harm caused by tobacco use. For more information see: ASH receives funding for its programme of work from Cancer Research UK and the British Heart Foundation.

Contact: . Deborah Arnott, chief executive, Hazel Cheeseman Deputy Chief Executive are available for media interviews


[1] The survey was carried out online by YouGov plc. Total sample size was 4,107 adults 18+ in Great Britain. Fieldwork was undertaken between 15th - 17th November 2023. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

The Government has announced legislation to raise the age of sale for tobacco for those born in 2009 or later by one year, every year, so it will never be legal to sell them tobacco. To what extent, if at all, would you support or oppose this measure?

By Westminster voting intention:

TotalConLabLib Dem
Neither support nor oppose15141219
Don't know4132

[2] see