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Legal smoking age in England should rise every year, review recommends

BMJ 2022; 377 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.o1432 (Published 09 June 2022) Cite this as: BMJ 2022;377:o1432
  1. Elisabeth Mahase
  1. The BMJ

England should increase the minimum age for buying tobacco products, currently 18, by one year, every year, to slowly phase out smoking, a review commissioned by the government has said.1

The Making Smoking Obsolete review, led by Javed Khan, former chief executive of the children’s charity Barnardo’s, outlines four interventions the government must take to meet its target to make England smoke free by 2030 (defined as a prevalence of smoking of 5% or less). Without these, Khan said, England will miss this target by at least seven years, with the country’s poorest areas not meeting it until 2044.

As well as raising the age to buy tobacco, the report, published on 9 June, calls for the government to urgently invest £125m (€146m; $156m) a year in a comprehensive programme to fund easily accessible, high quality …

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