Will a "lifetime smoking ban" become law in the UK before the next General Election?
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May 27
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Rishi Sunak has announced that he will be putting forward legislation for a "lifetime smoking ban". This would mean that the age for buying cigarettes will rise by one year every year and that anyone born after a cutoff date (possibly 1st January 2009) will never be able to legally buy cigarettes.

https://twitter.com/RishiSunak/status/1709533739028492670

If these plans go ahead, 41 year olds will not be allowed to buy cigarettes in 2050 but 42 year olds will.

To become law, the legislation will have to clear three hurdles:

  • Pass the House of Commons (speculation is that this will be a free, unwhipped vote)

  • Pass the House of Lords (free vote since this was not a manifesto pledge)

  • Receive Royal Assent (this should be a formality)

Will it pass all three hurdles before Parliament is dissolved for the next General Election?

Note - If the legislation is modified or amended so that the permenant automatic ramping up isn't in place to take the smoking age up to at least 50 without further legislation (eg. the legislation only lasts for a few years and then needs further legislation or the automatic ratcheting up only goes up to 30 rather than 50+), this market will resolve to NO

If you're wondering when the next General Election will be, take a look at this market:

/SimonGrayson/uk-general-election-which-month-in-6ab8406103dd

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bought Ṁ100 YES

Updates…

The Second Reading is currently planned for next Tuesday. Meanwhile, Boris Johnson has come out very strongly against the bill. I wonder if this will lead to some of the more extreme Tory MPs making a really big point of their opposition?

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2024/apr/11/boris-johnson-calls-rishi-sunak-smoking-ban-absolutely-nuts

The bill has received its first reading.

Details about where the bill is up to are here

The text of the proposed legislation is here

The next step will be the second reading debate in the Commons. When will that take place? /SimonGrayson/when-will-the-tobacco-and-vapes-bil

The Tobaco and Vapes Bill has been introduced to Parliament, though there's no word on when it will get a second reading:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-68615430

If the legislation passes as currently published (without amendments which water down the lifetime smoking ban), the market would resolve to YES once the bill receives Royal Assent.

I hope so, sounds like a great idea!

bought Ṁ50 of YES

Even if there is a relatively large section of the Conservative party that vote no, Stamrer has said himself the Labour party will back the motion, and I'd assume SNP and Libdems probably will too. Seems like one of those rare things that most people can agree on. Plus it looks like some personal idea of Sunak's so probably a legacy thing too.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2023/10/08/labour-party-conference-live-angela-rayner-keir-starmer/

bought Ṁ50 of NO

King’s Speech should’ve been priced in already (why else would they have announced the policy a month ago?). I still think it’s unlikely to become law in this parliament — the main obstacle will be getting on the legislative timetable.

predicts YES

@mvdm I’m YES for the opposite reason. There’s so little I can imagine the party agreeing to, I’d be shocked if they didn’t find time for something that will probably pass, even if it is with opposition help. Assuming elections don’t strike too early.

bought Ṁ50 of YES

@mvdm I take your point, but I don’t think it was guaranteed to be in the King’s Speech. It’s not unusual to float a proposed law, realise it’s going to be a bad idea politically or practically and then not include it. For example, Braverman’s proposed ban on homeless people being allowed to have tents went down like a pint of cold sick and didn’t make it into the King’s Speech!

Getting this far rather than being quietly dropped seems like the first hurdle, so I’d have thought that it’s at least slightly more likely to become law than it was last week!

bought Ṁ450 of YES

The lifetime smoking ban was part of today’s King’s Speech, so we can definitely say that this is now government policy rather than just a Rishi Sunak hobby-horse!

There’s been plenty of right wing rumbling against it from the likes of Conservative Home, the Spectator, etc. I think it’s fair to say that this will need Labour votes to get through!

bought Ṁ20 of NO

I think passing the commons is the hard part. A lot of Tories will consider this to be nanny state nonsense. Not sure how Labour will vote, but I don't think they'll all support it. SNP might be quite keen??

Would be delighted to lose my 20 mana.

@Fion I think you're right about a lot of the free market, classically liberal Tory MPs voting against this. I would have thought that most Labour MPs would be keener on it - maybe the question is whether they feel they can get behind this without feeling like they're doing Sunak a favour?

If it passes the Commons maybe it will look like the gay marriage vote where more Tories voted against than for, but it passed overwhelmingly with votes from Labour and the SNP (as well as the LDs, Plaid, the Greens, etc)?

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