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UK government to raise the smoking age to 21

There have been rising concerns by the health authorities to raise the age of smoking in the UK. Currently, anybody who is 18 and above can buy and smoke tobacco. However, due to the increased in the consumption by the youth population, the All Party Parliamentary Group on Smoking and Health wants the bar to be set higher. Which essentially would mean that given the proposal is accepted, the limit would be set at 21.

There are arguments both for and against the decision relating to raising the age to 21. The proponents strongly argue that smoking is a big menace which can possibly have fatal consequences. It is the need more than ever to prevent the problem before more users get addicted!

Why should the smoking age be raised?

Firstly, there remains simply no denying that tobacco inflicts severe harm to the person. We are very well aware that smoking cigarettes is linked to cardiovascular and lung-related illnesses. The complications can go to the extent where it can cost the life of the individual.

While, banning smoking tobacco as a whole in the UK seems practically impossible, raising the age may be of some good. Medical experts believe that the addiction is likely to begin during teenage years. Simply put, if you are young, you are far more prone to developing the habit than anyone else. That might be because of peer pressure or academic stress in some instances.

Either way, by limiting the age to 21 from 18, young individuals are less likely to involve themselves in the addiction.

The problem with the approach

However, on the other side of the proposal, there are strict reservations held by the opponents. They feel that raising the age bar is not dealing with the problem at large. First and foremost, the law if successfully passed, will surge the sale of cigarettes in the black market. Until and unless, there is an inherent realization why smoking is bad, no such step will yield any results.

As a result, the opponents argue the need is to create awareness among individuals. What is essentially required is to educate the young population about the consequences of smoking cigarettes. It does not matter what age the person is in. If the realization is created, no one person will resort themselves toward the habit in the first place.

In addition, the wider concern to account for is the rise in popularity of e-cigarettes. While it is certainly true that a normal cigarette is harmful, alternatives like vapes offer greater harm. Particularly, because it is known that the product contains other dangerous chemicals. On the other hand, there is a risk of the battery exploding which can cause instant death of the person.

The push for raising the age of smoking from 18 to 21 by the UK health authorities is certainly one of its kind. Almost all countries worldwide, including the US, has the limit set at 18. It still remains unclear whether the UK government will actually implement the proposal. Only time will tell, how the authorities are able to balance out the pros and the cons.

Areeba Hussain

Areeba is an independent medical and healthcare writer. For the last three years, she is writing for Tophealthjournal. Her prime areas of interest are diseases, medicine, treatments, and alternative therapies. Twitter @Areeba94789300

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