Monday, September 24, 2007

Teenage Smoking Ban - MP Predicts Confusion and Anger

North Thanet's MP, Roger Gale, is predicting probable confusion and possible anger when the ban on the sales of tobacco products to 16-18 year olds comes into force next Monday (1st October).

"Preventing the underage sales of tobacco products is important" says the MP "but retrospective legislation almost always causes grief.

From next Monday we are faced with the inevitable prospect of retailers who have served regular customers under 18 but over the current legal limit but under eighteen having to tell those young men and women that they are no longer allowed to buy cigarettes.

The association of Convenience Stores tell me that refusing age-restricted sales (of alcohol, for example) is already a major cause of intimidation and violence towards shopkeepers and having to take away a right that some at present enjoy is clearly not going to make them popular.

I do not believe that anything like enough publicity has been given to this change or to the fact that shopkeepers will be implementing Government policy and legislation.

There's a very real danger that some young people will blame shopkeepers for a ban that they are simply required to enforce by law and there will, I think, be an inevitable increase in the number of young addicted smokers trying to persuade older teenagers and adults to buy cigarettes for them. This change is going to need a huge amount of community support and understanding if it is to work smoothly".


Anonymous said...

Many under 16s have no problems obtaining cigarettes so why should this piece of legislation work any better than the current ban of sales to under 16s? We have a presbyterian Scot in charge of our affairs who has waited in the wings for 10 years to be PM; stand by for alcohol, gambling, singing and dancing to be banned and compulsory attendance at the Kirk on Sunday to be enforced.

Michael Child said...

As a smoker from the days when the harmful effects were not fully appreciated, at 16 the peer pressure to smoke in my day was very high, at boarding school there were a few poor devils who could not get the necessary written permission from their parents to enter the smoking room, the only place where there was a gramophone, this meant that not only were they deprived of any credibility they were also deprived of pop music.

There is something rather peculiar about both the recent smoking legislation and the way we treat this age group, we have all become familiar with sites like the smoking hospital workers being humiliated, sent of campus.

Here we have a situation where the government has allowed people to become quite legally addicted to something and the banned it, prohibition in America was responsible for producing very organised crime. Suppose the government continues in this direction the next logical step is to make tobacco and alcohol illegal drugs, enforceabley criminalising a large proportion of the population.

The arguments against the recent smoking legislation are very difficult to counter and those for age related legalisation even more difficult, with those relating to sex and drugs plainly unenforceable, were Romeo alive today he would be a sex offender for abusing the under age Juliet.

Nice photo Simon.

Anonymous said...

So, you can have sex at 16 but can't have a fag afterwards until you're 18 ! You can drive at 17 but can't smoke whilst doing it.
You can die for your country at 17 but while you are doing that you mustn't smoke !!!