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Ireland: Forest slams call to raise age of sale of tobacco to 21

Mon 12th September, 2022

Forest Ireland has slammed a call by the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland to increase the minimum legal age for buying tobacco to 21.

John Mallon, spokesman for the smokers' lobby group Forest Ireland, said: "At 18 you are legally an adult and you should be treated like one.

"Raising the legal age of sale of tobacco to 21 will infantilise young adults who must be encouraged to make informed choices for themselves, not be mollycoddled by the state.

"Increasing the legal age for buying tobacco won’t stop young adults from smoking. It will simply drive the sale of tobacco underground and into the hands of criminal gangs."

He added, "Further anti-smoking measures are completely unnecessary.

"Smoking rates have been falling across all age groups for decades and they will almost certainly continue to fall, as smoking falls further out of fashion and current smokers switch to reduced risk products like e-cigarettes, without the need for additional legislation.

"But if adults of any age choose to smoke tobacco that’s their choice and a truly liberal society would respect and defend that choice."

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