British doctors have voted to ban cigarette smoking for anyone born after the year 2000. Dr. Tim Crocker-Buqué said the move would create “the first tobacco-free generation.” With much debate, the doctors voted at their annual meeting Tuesday in Harrogate, England. “The level of harm caused by smoking is unconscionable,” Crocker-Buqué, a London research assistant in academic public health, said at the meeting. “It is not expected that this policy will instantly prevent all people from smoking, but (will) de-normalize cigarette smoking,” he said. The government would have to legislate a ban on tobacco sales to anyone born in the 21st century for it to become law. Dr. Yohanna Takwoingi, a Birmingham associate specialist, called his fellow doctors’ vote “headline grabbing” and “sensationalist.” Crocker-Buqué said 80 per cent of smokers started as teenagers, two in three smokers wished they could stop, and nine in 10 wished they had never started. “As doctors, we see first-hand the devastating effects of tobacco addiction,” Dr. Paul Darragh, the BMA Northern Ireland council chair and a former heavy smoker, said in a release from the conference.
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