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Press Release

Strong local government support for Tobacco and Vapes Bill tabled today

20 Mar 2024

Local Government leaders from across the political spectrum have joined health leaders [1] to back the Government’s new legislation to create a smokefree generation by raising the age of sale for tobacco for those born before 2009.

The policy is backed by two thirds of adults [2] and will help to prevent the estimated 350 18-25 year olds who become regular smokers everyday from ever starting to smoke [3].

Local Government have responsibility for public health and reducing smoking in their communities and trading standards professionals in local government will be responsible for enforcing legislation. In new research published today [4] the Chartered Trading Standards Institute finds that 80% of trading standards officers support the legislation [see full PR below].

Cllr Richard Clewer (Conservative), Leader, Wiltshire County Council, said:

“This Bill will provide important protection for children from both vaping and smoking. Smoking rates among young people are at an all time low and we have a chance to bring them down further still with this landmark legislation. For Wiltshire this is an important issue and we want to secure a smokefree generation for our population as soon as we can, the long term health benefits to our children are hugely important. There is no time to waste.”

Cllr Jim Dickson (Labour) Cabinet Member for Healthier Communities in Lambeth, and part of the London Tobacco Alliance said:

“It is vital for the health and wellbeing of our communities that the government gets this critical bill through parliament and on the statute book as soon as possible. In return we in local government can give our guarantee that we’ll do all we can to help the government deliver the objective we all share of a smokefree society.”

Councillor Linda Chambers (Liberal Democrat), portfolio holder for adult services and public health, Hull City Council said:

"Hull City Council is deeply committed to supporting our residents in living longer, healthier lives. We wholeheartedly welcome all efforts to reduce smoking rates in our city. As we know, most smokers start as children, often leading to a lifelong addiction with devastating consequences. We envision a smoke-free future where our young people can grow up free from the dangers of tobacco, shielded from the addiction, the financial burden, and the multitude of diseases it causes.

The proposed Smokefree Generation legislation presents a pivotal opportunity to finally end the immense harm caused by tobacco. This legislation provides a clear framework to phase out tobacco use for good, safeguarding future generations from a product that, if introduced today, would never be allowed due to its inherent dangers. We urge all MPs to carefully consider the countless lives that can be saved through this legislation and cast their vote in favour of a healthier future for all."

The Smokefree Action Coalition has produce a briefing for Parliamentarians on raising the age of sale:

The Bill will also create new powers to regulate vapes and introduce new fixed penalty fines of £100 for selling cigarettes or vapes to children.


Notes to the Editor

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

Hazel Cheeseman Deputy Chief Executive, Professor Nick Hopkinson, Professor of respiratory medicine at Imperial College London and Chair of ASH and Deborah Arnott, Chief Executive, are available for media interviews contact


[1] Leading Health organisations urge Parliament to put the Tobacco and Vapes Bill on the statute book before the general election:

[2] Survey carried out online by YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 4,107 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 15th - 17th November 2023. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+). Question asked was: “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?”

[3] Analysis by UCL available on the Open Science Framework at:

[4] CTSI press release: 80% of Trading Standards professionals support the Smokefree Generation Policy.pdf