Objection to council consultation supporting plans to ban smoking by increasing age limits of legal age to buy tobacco products

A Lisburn councillor has slammed the UK government’s plans to ban smoking as ‘nanny-state’ control.
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The ‘Stopping the Start’ plan seeks to create a smoke free generation by raising the legal age to buy cigarettes each year, the current age being 18.

This would stop anyone born in 2009 or after from ever being sold tobacco products.

However, the council’s consultation response to the Westminster proposal was opposed by an independent councillor, who stated the government was “out of touch”.

Cllr Gary Hynds objected to council proposal to support government smoking ban plans. Pic credit: McAuley MultimediaCllr Gary Hynds objected to council proposal to support government smoking ban plans. Pic credit: McAuley Multimedia
Cllr Gary Hynds objected to council proposal to support government smoking ban plans. Pic credit: McAuley Multimedia

Councillor Gary Hynds said: “I am not a supporter of cigarettes, but I cannot support this consultation response.

“It is selective nanny-state-ism and out of touch.

“There is no mention of drugs and they are on offer everywhere in Lisburn, they are as easy to get as cigarettes in Lisburn.

“Education is key and people must be given the choice themselves or where does this end?”

Cllr Nicola Parker supported the council proposal to back government smoking ban plans. Pic credit:  McAuley MultimediaCllr Nicola Parker supported the council proposal to back government smoking ban plans. Pic credit:  McAuley Multimedia
Cllr Nicola Parker supported the council proposal to back government smoking ban plans. Pic credit: McAuley Multimedia

He added: “The UK government is putting something through they think will be popular, but it would be better if we stay out of this.

“They have no business telling us what to do. We should never support infringement of our freedoms.”

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The council report in chambers states smoking is the single most entirely preventable cause of ill health, disability, and death in the UK.Lisburn North Alliance representative, Nicola Parker said: “As a mother of a child born in 2009, I fully support this consultation and I am happy to propose it.”

The Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council consultation response agreeing with the ‘Stopping the Start’ plan was approved by the environment and sustainability committee.