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BMA supports banning cigarette sales to those born after 2000

The British Medical Association (BMA) has voted to support a ban on cigarette sales to people born after the year 2000.

Delegates at the BMA's Annual Representative Meeting passed the motion of a "forever" ban following a spirited debate on the issue.

A person grabs cigarettes from a shop shelf.
The leading doctors' union voted on the motion at its Annual Representative Meeting. Credit: Chris Ison/PA Wire

Dr Tim Crocker-Buque, who proposed the ban, told ITV News he was "very encouraged to have the support of the UK's medical profession" on this issue.

"[We have] lots of work to do now to develop and implement the policy," he added.

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David Cameron 'minded to go ahead' with plain packs

David Cameron is "minded to go ahead" with introducing plain packaging for cigarettes before next May's general election, Downing St has said.

The Government is introducing draft regulations on introducing plain packaging for cigarettes Credit: Martin Rickett/PA Wire/Press Association Images

At a media briefing this afternoon, the Prime Minister's spokesman said:

"The first thing to do is publish the draft regulations. We do have to consult on those in detail, partly to deal with the risk of future charges. Subject to that, we will certainly consider whether that is possible.

"The Prime Minister is minded to go ahead with this, subject to the consultation on detailed regulations," he added.

Tobacco industry hits out at plain packs move

The tobacco industry has attacked the Government over the decision to pave the way for plain packaging for cigarettes in England.

Several companies said a review by Sir Cyril Chantler saying plain packs could improve public health was flawed.

The Government is pressing ahead with introducing plain packaging for cigarettes in England Credit: John Stillwell/PA Wire/Press Association Images

A spokesman for British American Tobacco, whose brands include Pall Mall and Lucky Strikes, said the idea the plan would improve public health "defies logic".

Japan International Tobacco, the makers of Camel and Silk Cut, also pointed out that David Cameron has said the proposals involved "considerable legal uncertainty".

Read: Government pushes ahead plans for plain cigarette packs

Plain packs aimed at 'denormalising smoking'

ITV News Deputy Political Editor Chris Ship has been speaking to Sir Cyril Chantler, the author of a review that concluded that plain cigarette packaging could contribute to a "modest but important reduction" in smoking rates.

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Author of smoking study Sir Cyril Chantler tells us #plainpackaging is about "denormalising smoking in society"

Read: Govt to press ahead with plain cigarette packets

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Govt to press ahead with plain cigarette packets

The government said it will press ahead with plans to force tobacco firms to sell cigarettes in plain packets which would "very likely" improve public health.

A shop assistant in Portsmouth reaching for a packet of cigarettes. Credit: Chris Ison/PA Archive

Draft regulations to introduce plain packaging for cigarettes are to be published following the Sir Cyril Chantler review, health minister Jane Ellison said.

Ms Ellison said a short consultation will follow and details of when the changes will take place will be announced shortly which drew cries of "shame" from some MPs.

She said she wanted to move forward as swiftly as possible, explaining: "I am currently minded to proceed with introducing regulations to provide for standardised packaging.

"However, in order to ensure that decision is properly and fully informed I intend to publish the draft regulations so it is crystal clear what is intended".

Strokes are 'twice as likely' for those who smoke

Strokes are more likely to occur if you smoke, the director of external affairs at Stroke Association has said, as Public Health England launches a new stop-smoking campaign to highlight the unseen harms on smokers' bodies.

Joe Korner added: "Stroke is a major cause of death and adult disability in the UK and you are twice as likely to have a stroke if you smoke. The more you smoke, the more your risk increases."

A new TV campaign highlights the unseen harm caused by smoking. Credit: Public Health England

Memory declines 38% faster in persistent male smokers

Accelerated decline in cognitive reasoning and memory is more advanced in smokers, according to researchers and University College London (UCL).

Dr Gareth Hagger-Johnson, research associate at UCL, said:

[One] of our studies at UCL show [decline] to be nearly 38% faster in persistent male smokers compared to non-smokers.

The decline in the brain's cognitive powers is naturally seen with ageing but there are a number of identifiable risk factors, including smoking and heavy alcohol consumption, which can be associated with an accelerated rate of decline.

Highlighting unseen harm of smoking 'helps people quit'

Smokers double the risk of dying from a stroke, researchers have found. The warning comes as public health authorities begin a new campaign highlighting the harms of smoking to the brain.Professor Kevin Fenton, director of health and well-being for Public Health England, said:

More than eight million people smoke in England. With half of long-term smokers dying prematurely from a smoking-related disease, highlighting the unseen damaging effect smoking has on the body's major organs provides a real motivation for people to stop.

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