British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Wednesday proposed banning cigarette purchases for younger generations, a move that would give Britain some of the strictest anti-smoking rules in the world.

These proposals, if passed into law, would make Britain the first country in Europe to ban cigarette sales to young people. Denmark is considering taking a similar step, reports Al-Rai daily.

A government document containing details of the proposals indicated that it is possible to phase out smoking among young people almost completely by 2040.

“Cigarettes will no longer be legally sold to a young person who is now 14 years old,” Sunak told the Conservative Party conference about the new proposal.

Under his anti-smoking plan, Sunak said that the smoking age will be raised by one year annually, which means that the younger generation can grow up “smoking-free,” which will lead to improved health in the country.

Sunak also plans to introduce measures to impose restrictions on e-cigarettes for children. The briefing document explained that the government will hold discussions regarding restricting the flavors and descriptions of e-cigarettes so that they can no longer target children.

He added that the government will also consider regulating the packaging and display of e-cigarettes. The proposed smoking ban is similar to one imposed last year by New Zealand, which became the first country to ban those born in 2009 or later from legally purchasing cigarettes.

The ban will come into effect in 2027. Sunak said smoking costs Britain’s health authorities 17 billion pounds ($20.6 billion) annually and that deaths from cancer could fall by a quarter if people stop smoking.

Read Today's News TODAY... on our Telegram Channel click here to join and receive all the latest updates