Guernsey Press

More smoking bans likely

IT’S been hailed, by its supporters, as ‘the biggest public health intervention in a generation’.


But two questions loom large – will a new proposed ban on people buying cigarettes actually work, and will it ever be extended to Guernsey?

The idea that, a few years down the line, a shopkeeper might not be able to sell a packet of 20 to a 22-year-old, but happily hand them over to someone just a year older, makes no sense.

If politicians are pushed to consider the practical issues of this move, then it should fail.

But if it goes through in the UK, then we can expect moves to do likewise in Guernsey pretty soon. The island has been happy to be in the vanguard of anti-smoking action over the past two decades. And despite the concerns about interference in the rights of the individual, we can see this one being pursued too.

Is the intention to arrest our hypothetical 22-year-old above? No. The UK indicates that the police would not even be responsible for policing this legislation. The real purpose, just like the public smoking ban indoors, is shifting ever closer to a smoke-free generation, not a draconian limitation of personal freedoms.

Smoking won’t be banned – yet – but this move will contribute to it being ‘denormalised’ in society, just as the smoking ban did. And we’ve no reason to suggest that is a bad thing.