The Prime Minister said the legal age for buying cigarettes would increase by one year every year in a bid to tackle the “biggest cause of preventable death and disease in our country”.
Mr Sunak said “a 14-year-old today will never legally be sold a cigarette”, under new legislation for England.
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Smoking causes about one in five cancer cases and more than one in four cancer deaths each year in the UK. Almost six million people in England smoke.
Mr Sunak said: “Four in five smokers have started by the time they are 20.”
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Professor Chris Whitty, England’s chief medical officer, said: “Smoking damages many lives.
“It causes stillbirths, asthma in children, heart disease, stroke and dementia, in addition to causing most lung cancer and an increasing risk of many other cancers.”
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