Clause 79 - Commencement

Part of Tobacco and Vapes Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 2:00 pm on 14 May 2024.

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Photo of Bob Blackman Bob Blackman Conservative, Harrow East 2:00, 14 May 2024

I thank the hon. Lady for that intervention. I am always willing to praise people who do the right thing. Unfortunately the SNP Government do not always do the right thing, as many of us know.

Extending the requirements for Scotland to the rest of the United Kingdom is supported by the vast majority of the general public and of retailers surveyed by ASH in 2024. To quote John McClurey, a retired tobacco retailer from Newcastle who, during his 39 years as a small shop owner, successfully implemented the increase in the age of sale from 16 to 18, putting tobacco out of sight in his shops and introducing standardised packaging of tobacco products:

“Like the communities they serve, retailers support creating a smokefree generation by raising the age of sale one year every year from 2027 onwards. However, I know from experience it will be easier for retailers to implement if age verification was required from anyone trying to buy tobacco who appeared to be underage. This won’t apply to existing adult social smokers only to those who look as though they were born after 2008. It’s popular with the public as well as with retailers and it will be a legal requirement in Scotland, so why not the whole of the UK?”