NEW analysis by Cancer Research UK estimates up to 1.32m fewer cigarettes will be smoked in London each day by 2040, if a proposed law to raise the age of sale of tobacco is successfully implemented.*

If passed by MPs, it would raise the legal age of sale of tobacco products in England by one year every year, meaning anyone born on or after January 1st, 2009 will never be able to legally be sold cigarettes.

As the legislation – introduced to Parliament on 20 March – now heads towards a crucial vote later this spring, the charity has released the staggering figure to urge the region’s MPs to make history by helping to create the first smokefree generation.

Between now and 2040, around the time the first of these youngsters will turn 30, the number of cigarettes that would go unsmoked across the UK would add up to tens of billions.

That’s if the Government’s best-case modelling of a 90% reduction in rates of young people across England taking up smoking is achieved.

This could have a profound impact in London where tobacco kills one person every hour** and is responsible for around 4,300 cancer deaths each year.***

The legislation has been welcomed by Deborah Peñate Gómez from Bermondsey, who wants the Government to do more to help stub out smoking. She understands the terrible toll of tobacco all too well after losing her dad, Juan Pedro, to lung cancer in 2012 aged just 49.

As a child, Deborah knew smoking was unhealthy and watched in dismay as her dad lit up cigarette after cigarette. She wrote no-smoking messages in his Father’s Day card and put ‘Smoke-free’ signs on her bedroom door.

But her dad continued to smoke, in the car, in the home office and around the house, saying he would give up when the doctor told him he had to.

Sadly, by the time that happened, it was too late.

Deborah said: “Smoking is a deadly addiction and, like my dad, most people who smoke started when they were young and have tried to quit.**** I know he would have backed raising the age of sale of tobacco 100 per cent. To think children could be prevented from accessing tobacco products, that generations to come could be spared from similar heartache, is incredible.

“The upcoming vote is a critical milestone towards ending the devastating effects of smoking. Victory is almost in sight, but for the sake of our children’s and grandchildren’s future, we cannot leave it to chance. Now, we must do everything we can to make sure MPs get this over the line.”

Deborah is calling on the public to email their MP and encourage them to vote in favour of the legislation at

Tobacco is the one legal consumer product that will kill most of its users if used as instructed by the manufacturer. It causes at least 15 different types of cancer, including two of the most common, lung and bowel cancer.

While Cancer Research UK’s latest analysis focuses on cigarettes, all products that contain tobacco are harmful and increase cancer risk, so it has welcomed the Government’s announcement that the legislation will apply to all tobacco products -including heated tobacco devices.

The charity’s London spokesperson, Lynn Daly said: “The biggest cause of cancer has no place in our future. As our analysis suggests, fast-forward to 2040, and the statistics could tell a very different story. Up to 1.32M fewer cigarettes smoked each day in the region, would mean more people living longer, healthier lives, free from the fear of cancer.

“Nothing would have a bigger impact on reducing the number of preventable deaths in the capital than ending smoking. So, we must make sure our MPs are behind this critically important Age of Sale legislation. Together, we can make a smokefree generation a reality.”

Evidence shows that smoking rates go down with government action and its thanks to this that smoke-filled pubs and workplaces, tobacco advertising and branded packs have been consigned to the past.

Cancer Research UK says Age of Sale legislation is a vital next step on the journey to a smokefree UK and would create a lasting legacy for its young people that the nation can be proud of.

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