In an effort to establish a “smoke-free generation,” ministers are considering imposing a new levy on vapes in addition to gradually enacting a complete ban on child smoking.
Records that were made public in conjunction with Rishi Sunak’s inaugural king address stated that an eight-week survey on smoking and vaping will “explore a new duty” on vapes, similar to what has previously been implemented in roughly forty other countries.
Downing Street stated that, although they come with their own health hazards, they consider vapes to be a helpful instrument to reduce smoking, and that a “important balance” needed to be achieved in order to charge cigarettes more heavily than vapes.
Ministers intend to present a new tobacco and vapes bill next month. It will phase out the sale of cigarettes and impose more limits on vaping to safeguard youngsters. Currently, children under the age of 14 cannot be sold cigarettes.
The government estimates that smoking costs the UK £17 billion annually, much above the £10 billion generated from tobacco product taxes. This amount includes £14 billion in lost productivity and £3 billion for the NHS and care system.
One of the few unexpected policies in a speech that seemed mostly intended to draw lines with Labour as Sunak fights to improve the Conservatives’ dismal polling numbers before the next election was the decision to tax vape pens.
The government unveiled 21 laws as lawmakers got started on what is almost definitely the last session of parliament before voters head to the polls. The prime minister claimed these measures demonstrated that the Tories had “turned the corner” after a rocky few years to put the nation on a better course.
The king’s speech included a number of strong new crime and punishment measures, along with laws requiring yearly oil and gas licensing in the North Sea, which Labour has stated it would oppose. These challenges were directed towards Keir Starmer.
The Prime Minister of Labour, however, informed lawmakers that the measures were “more of the same” from a government “desperately trying to save their own skin,” and that they featured little legislation to strengthen Britain’s failing public services.
Alongside his wife Camilla, King Charles honored his mother, the late Queen Elizabeth, and her “legacy of service and devotion” at the first state opening of parliament as monarch.
Proposed legislation pertaining to sentencing guidelines, law enforcement authority, and the care of crime victims encompassed earlier declarations that the most heinous murderers would never be freed from prison, while rapists and other severe sexual offenders would not be granted early release.
Among the other measures were giving police the authority to enter a property without a warrant and seize items that were taken, including phones. Senior Conservatives believe Sunak can overcome Labour’s routinely double-digit poll lead if they concentrate on topics perceived as historically Tory.
However, an internal dispute over Suella Braverman’s crackdown on rough sleepers has caused plans to publish a draft criminal justice bill on Wednesday to be postponed, according to insiders.
It’s thought that some ministers find the home secretary’s idea to punish organizations who provide tents to the homeless uncomfortable. The home secretary’s statement that some people considered sleeping on the streets as a “lifestyle choice” sparked a stir.
A bill was introduced to allow autonomous vehicles, buses, supermarket delivery services, and farm equipment to operate on British roads before the end of the decade. On the other hand, when technology took control, there would be immunity from prosecution. London will outlaw peddlers on the streets.
The speech also outlined plans for a new regulation designed to shield online shoppers from scammers, a ban on the export of live animals from the UK for slaughter overseas, and a new football governance structure.
Still, the suggestions that were omitted from the speech garnered just as much interest. Among these were prohibitions on conversion treatment for members of the LGBTQ+ community, changes to private pension plans, guidelines governing artificial intelligence, and dietary neutrality laws.