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More than half of all Brits want the sale of cigarettes banned ‘immediately’ in the UK

By Oliver Smith 26th April 2023 3 Mins

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More than half of all Brits want the sale of cigarettes banned ‘immediately’ in the UK, according to an eye-opening new survey.

The shock study – commissioned by news outlet MailOnline – found 21 percent of respondents would ‘support’ a prohibition and a further 31 percent would ‘strongly’ back such a move.

Polling firm Redfi eld and Wilton Strategies, which conducted the research, revealed less than a quarter of people would stand against a ban.

The polorising data sparked major debate online, with some saying a block on cigarette sales could ease pressures on the NHS and improve public health.

However, others warned the move would be an insult to our right to choose, suggesting people should be free to indulge in bad behaviours.

Critics also predicted a ban wouldn’t stop smokers from using cigarettes and warned that it would instead guide them into the waiting hands of the black market.

Is outlawing smoking a breach of our personal freedoms or a bold effort to protect public health…the nation doesn’t seem to agree.

One Twitter user said: “Personal responsibility and freedom are both human rights…we don’t live in a dictatorship.

“Ultimately, the NHS is a service; it is paid for by us to serve our needs and shouldn’t be used as an excuse to control us.” Another added: “Banning things doesn’t make the issue – or even the thing – disappear.

“As we’ve seen with the failed ‘War on Drugs’, we not only fail to find a solution, but worsen the issue.”

Rebecca Jane of mental health group RJ8 spoke out in support of a cigarette sale prohibition, saying it’s ‘just one thing we could do to improve the health of the nation’.

In an appearance on GB News, she said: “For me, we should be looking to do whatever we can to minimalise something that contributes to 78,000 deaths per year.”

When asked where we draw the line on banning things that can be bad for us, Jane stressed that smoking has an impact the health of others and not just our own.

Amazingly, the MailOnline poll also found that 73 percent of Brits back legislation that phased out cigarettes overtime.

This would mirror controversial policy already being enforced in New Zealand as part of the island nation’s effort to become smoke-free.

Under the first-of-its-kind Kiwi regulation, the age to purchase cigarettes will increase every year until no one in the country can legally buy the deadly tobacco product.

Unlike an absolute ban, just 10 percent of survey respondents said they ‘opposed’ or ‘strongly opposed’ the progressive outlawing of cigarettes.

Shadow health secretary Wes Streeting even confirmed the Labour party was planning on discussing a phasing out approach, saying that he was ‘genuinely curious’ about how the NZ policy works.

There is a clear and strong divide between those for and against a ban on cigarette sales, with many flocking to social media to make their voices heard.

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Oliver Smith