People under the age of 25 could soon be banned from buying cigarettes under new plans the government is looking to introduce in England.
In what is a scheme that is said to have been proposed as a way to dramatically-reduce smoking trends among young people throughout Britain and create a “smoke free” country, and comes as an anti-smoking tsar has been recently-commissioned to deliver the matter, the possibility of banning the sale of cigarettes to those under 25 is now believed to be “on the table” after being given careful consideration.
The main responsibility of the anti-smoking tsar is to reduce the numbers of smokers within different age groups.
According to The Times, an upcoming independent review commissioned by Health Secretary Sajid Javid and led by former Barnardo’s CEO Javed Khan OBE is expected to launch England into its “smoke free” future by the goal of 2030 – which would mean that fewer than 5% of the adult population smokes.
The reported raising of cigarette sale age would be similar to a ban that is already initiated in New Zealand.
Currently in New Zealand, anyone who was born after 2008 is not able to buy tobacco items, and because of this, Mr Khan is reportedly considering whether an argument could be made for “raising the age to 19, 20, 21, or even 25” in the UK.
“We are thinking seriously about the age of sale,” Mr Khan told The Times.
He continued: “Just look at the COVID experience, mass marketing has a big effect, it really works… the government went hell for leather, it made an enormous difference in vaccination rates.
“So why not do something like that again, if we really want to save people’s lives.”
Echoing the sentiment and speaking on the intent to make Britain a smoke-free nation by 2030, Health Secretary Sajid Javid said in a statement on the government’s website: “The pandemic has shown the resilience of the British public and brought communities together to look after each other in the most challenging times.
“But it has also exposed chasms in our society – particularly in health.”
Mr Khan added: “I am very pleased to be leading this review into such an important area of public health [and] my independent findings will help highlight key interventions, which can help the government achieve its ambitions to be smoke-free by 2030 and tackle health disparities.”
In England, there are currently said to be about six million smokers.
Tobacco is also found to be the biggest cause of preventable death in the UK, and in the most-recent data from 2019, a recorded 64,000 smokers died from smoking, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
Cancer Research estimates that the UK is currently set to miss the target of being smoke-free by 2030.
The charity says the country is not expected to smoke-free until at least 2037, as there is said to be a 20-year gap in smoking rates between the least and most deprived people, meaning the richest are expected to achieve smoke-free status in 2025, but the poorest are not expected until the mid-2040s.
Sir David Jason set for TV return in Only Fools and Horses documentary Christmas special
In a surprise bit of festive news, the only and only Sir David Jason is returning for an Only Fools and Horses Christmas special this December. Lovely jubbly!
The best-loved and most-watched British comedy of all time will be back on our screens in documentary form this festive season, with Del Boy himself David Jason revisiting the iconic comedy character after 20 years he last played him on screen.
While the legendary sitcom was broadcast on BBC back in the day, the highly-anticipated Only Fools doc will be airing on Channel 5 right before Christmas as a special one-off programme.
Looking back on the show’s incredible run on UK screens over seven series and the several ‘Christmas Cracker’ specials, specifically, the latest Only Fools and Horses documentary will see Jason and a number of other guests appearing to chat about the legendary show.
While it’s still unclear how many of the original cast will be appearing, Jason’s on-screen wife Tessa Peake-Jones (Raquel) is confirmed to be appearing along with other special guests including newscaster Krishnan Guru-Murthy and Bendiorm‘s Sherrie Hewson.
Sadly, a full theatrical reunion just isn’t on the cards following the deaths of Roger Lloyd Pack (Trigger), Kenneth MacDonald (Mike the Landlord) and Buster Merryfield (Uncle Albert) in the 30 years since the show ended its run.
Only Fools writer John Sullivan also sadly passed away aged 64 in 2011 and fellow co-star Nicholas Lyndhurst, a.k.a. Rodney Trotter, told Metro: “We can’t. John is no longer with us. John was the driving force of the show and we have also lost quite a few cast members now.
“I don’t think I could do it without them and I certainly couldn’t do it without John. At the risk of depressing everyone, I think the last two times I’ve seen David has been at funerals.”
Simply entitled, ‘The Story Of Only Fools And Horses At Christmas’, the 90-minute special is yet to have its broadcast date fully confirmed but you best keep your eyes peeled on the TV guide — we’ll let you know as soon we do.
Jason, 81, has only just recovered from hip surgery earlier this year, so it’ll be nice to see his familiar grin back on our screens.
Right, we’re off to binge a whole series on UK Gold.
Habas restaurant in Manchester announces shock closure – with huge closing-down discount
Habas, the Middle Eastern restaurant launched by the team behind El Gato Negro, has announced its shock closure.
The subterranean restaurant will be going out with a bang though, promising one last knees-up with a big discount.
Habas will be doing 25% off its entire food and drink menu this New Year’s Eve so that fans of the eatery can raise a glass to the Manchester restaurant.
They’re also hoping that Mancs will raise a glass to new beginnings, teasing a brand new concept.
Habas is located at Brown Street in Manchester city centre and has been serving up its Middle Eastern menu since 2021.
It comes from Mills Hill Developments Limited, the company also responsible for El Gato Negro and Canto, fronted by celebrated chef Simon Shaw.
Habas has stressed that its closure ‘is not forever’ as it announces details of its New Year’s Eve closing down party.
You can ring in the new year with a selection of mezze dishes, sharing platters and small plates, feasting on chicken tagine and traditional tzatziki, all 25% off on Sunday 31 December.
Drinks, too, like the cranberry elderflower martini, blackberry ginger smash and clementine daquiri will be with 25% off.
Simon Shaw, Chef Parton at Mills Hill Developments Limited, said: “As of January 2024, we have made the decision to close the doors of Habas Bar & Restaurant, however we are thrilled to announce that our Brown Street venue has an exciting new concept on the way.
“Throughout December, Habas, will continue serving up the city’s best middle-eastern cuisine, so make sure you pop in and see us. AND on New Year’s Eve, Habas, will be hosting an unforgettable celebration with 25% off food and drinks. We want to rejoice with all of our customers, with one final hurrah!
“We would like to thank all of our guests and reassure Habas fans that this is not the end of Habas Bar & Restaurant forever, simply a farewell from Brown Street for now.
“We look forward to welcoming you to our new exciting concept in Q1 of 2024.”