Northern Ireland needs the power to protect young people from effects of smoking

Alliance Party Health Spokesperson, Kieran McCarthy MLA, has stated that increasing the legal age to buy cigarettes will greatly improve public health. He said that the pressing need to introduce this measure here underlines why devolution must return as a matter of urgency. It was announced that this change in the law will come into effect in England and Wales in October.

The Strangford Assembly Member said: “We have heard reports that the legal age for buying cigarettes is to be raised from 16 to 18 in England and Wales, but not in Northern Ireland.

“This yet again underlines the need to stop sectarian stagnation and get devolution up and running again, so that we can make the right decisions for everyone in Northern Ireland.

“Research shows that smokers who find it hardest to quit are those who started when they were teenagers.

“We are now in the countdown to the smoking ban and we must put in place all possible measures to ensure that the ban is effective in improving public health.”


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