Under 21s could be banned from buying cigarettes under plans for smoke-free UK

People under the age of 21 in Britain could be banned from buying cigarettes in a bid to get the UK smoke-free by 2030.

A ban on flavoured e-cigarettes is also said to have been looked into by health officials.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid is due to launch a new plan with one of the primary aims being a crackdown on young smokers.

Insiders told The Mirror that there may also be a clampdown on flavoured vaping devices such as mango and mint.

But no firm plans on smoking or vaping have been implemented yet, .

About 200,000 children in the UK are thought to smoke and health professionals have warned that they tend to go on to be life-long smokers.

A letter published by medics in the BMJ said: "Half the difference in life expectancy between rich and poor people is the result of smoking, and the economic, as well as health, gains from a smoke-free country will benefit most those in disadvantaged groups and disadvantaged regions.”

The World Health Organisation (WHO) previously said that flavoured vaping products were 'harmful' and 'normalise' smoking in children.

It is thought that the flavours produced by the manufactures, like bubblegum and watermelon, are attempting to appeal to a younger demographic.

Last month the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Smoking and Health told the government that it needs to act swiftly to ensure the country is smoke-free by 2030.

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They highlighted comments from the UK's chief medical officer Chris Whitty who warned that cigarettes are more deadly than the coronavirus, which brought the world to a standstill.

In 2007 the smoking ban came into force, making it illegal to smoke inside pubs, restaurants, nightclubs, work spaces, anywhere in the country.

As part of the APPG's 12 step plan, a crackdown on young smokers would also be implemented in the UK.

The APPG urged that the government needs to "take control of tobacco".

They suggested the government do this by allowing the NHS to give out e-cigarettes and ban them from people under 21.

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In its report they state that more regulations need to be implemented to protect children and young people from becoming smokers.

Including additional health warnings on tobacco products and raising the age of sale to 21-years-old.

In a statement a Department of Health and Social Care spokesman said: “Smoking cuts lives short and costs the NHS billions – we will publish a plan later this year to set out how we will help the country become smoke free by 2030.”

Inside sources say that the health secretary has seen the plans, but remains 'sceptical' on upping the age limit on sales to 21.

At present, only people aged over 18 can buy tobacco products.

People as young as 16 can smoke legally, but police do have the power to confiscate cigarettes from anyone 16 and under.

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