Smoking is responsible for around 80,000 deaths a year in the United Kingdom. Smoking causes around one in four cancer deaths in the UK and is responsible for just over 70% of all lung cancer deaths. No other consumer product kills up to two-thirds of its users. Smoking costs our country £17 billion a year and puts a huge burden on the National Health Service. Almost every minute of every day someone is admitted to hospital because of smoking, and up to 75,000 general practitioner appointments attributed to smoking each month, constituting over 100 appointments every hour.
This is why the Government is planning to create a smokefree generation by bringing forward legislation so that children turning 14 years old or younger this year will never be legally sold tobacco products. As per existing age of sale legislation, smokers will be required to produce identification if retailers are uncertain that they are above the legal smoking age.