Another huge milestone on our road to a smokefree UK

What does this week’s vote mean? 

The Age of Sale legislation has to get through some further Parliamentary processes before it can become law. After the title of the Bill was read out in parliament (also called the first reading) on 20 March, MPs had their first chance to vote during the second reading, which happened earlier today. 

MPs voted 383 to 67 in favour of the Bill – a majority of 316 – and it will now make its way to committee stage for further scrutiny. 

In the debate before the vote, politicians from all parties recognised the massive impact a smokefree generation would bring for the health of the country. Many also highlighted how Age of Sale legislation could help save the UK billions of pounds by supporting a more productive economy and reducing the burden on the NHS.  

Victoria Atkins, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, said the Tobacco and Vapes Bill would “free future generations from the tyranny of addiction and ill health. Similarly, Shadow Health Secretary Wes Streeting explained he was voting in favour of the legislation because he wanted to make sure “that today’s children are part of the healthiest generation that has ever lived.”

Meanwhile, Kirsten Oswald, speaking on behalf of the SNP, said it was vital the Bill passes and described it as ”a positive and necessary move”. Liberal Democrat Health Spokesperson Daisy Cooper also called it a “useful step that will help us to tackle the dangerous health impacts of smoking addiction, to improve population health and to take pressure off the NHS”.

CML Alliance
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