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Truss: Smoking Ban a Move by ‘Technocratic Establishment’ to Restrict Personal Choice

Bill to create a ‘smoke free generation’ passes first reading with support from Labour despite concerns over its practicalities and on libertarian grounds.

Former Prime Minister Liz Truss has criticized the bill proposed by the government as a virtue-signalling piece of legislation aimed at limiting people’s freedom, which passed its first reading in Parliament on Tuesday.

The bill received a vote in favor at the first reading, with several MPs sharing their personal experiences with tobacco addiction or witnessing loved ones suffer from smoking-related illnesses.

The bill suggests imposing on-the-spot fines of £100 for shops caught selling tobacco products to underage individuals, with the proceeds going to local authorities.

Ms. Truss expressed concerns about the bill, highlighting a trend of restricting personal freedoms on various items like tobacco, sugar, alcohol, and meat.

She emphasized the importance of protecting children while growing up but expressed reservations about restricting adults’ choices.

The bill aims to establish a “smoke-free generation” by prohibiting the sale of tobacco products to individuals born after Jan. 1, 2009, gradually increasing the age limit annually.

If the bill becomes law, individuals aged 15 or younger will never be legally allowed to buy cigarettes, while those born on or before Dec. 31, 2008, can purchase them once they reach 18.

Several adults may need to prove their age for life to purchase cigarettes if the bill is enacted, raising concerns about privacy and civil liberties.

‘Finger-Wagging Nannying Control Freaks’

Ms. Truss cautioned Tory colleagues against supporting the bill, emphasizing the need to uphold principles and ideals rather than succumb to “nannying control freaks” advocating for restrictions.

She critiqued the bill as emblematic of the technocratic establishment’s inclination to limit personal freedom, comparing it to policies on tobacco, sugar, alcohol, and meat.

While some MPs supported the bill, others criticized its arbitrary age cut-off point and inferred absurdity in its implementation.

Health Secretary Victoria Atkins stressed the necessity of protecting the next generation from smoking-related illnesses, despite concerns about personal freedom.

Medics in Favor of Ban

MPs with medical backgrounds supported banning tobacco sales for the rising generation, highlighting smoking’s adverse health effects.

While opinions on the bill varied, many MPs raised concerns about its practical implications and effects on retailers.

The bill’s progress requires additional scrutiny and potential improvements to address concerns raised by MPs.

The bill will advance to its second reading, signaling further discussions and potential modifications in the future.

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