MPs to vote on smoking ban for Generation Alpha

MPs will debate plans for some of the world’s toughest anti-tobacco laws on Tuesday. Rishi Sunak wants to make Generation Alpha, born since 2009, the UK’s first smoke-free generation in a major public health intervention.

Anyone turning 15 from this year would be banned from buying cigarettes under the Tobacco and Vapes Bill, which also makes vapes less appealing to children. A number of Tory MPs have told the BBC they won’t back the bill.

The bill would make the sale of tobacco products, rather than the act of smoking, illegal.Tobacco use is the UK’s single biggest preventable cause of death, killing two-thirds of long-term users and causing 80,000 deaths every year.

On top of that, a patient is admitted to hospital with a smoking-related condition, such as heart disease, strokes and lung cancer, almost every minute in England.The Iranian government has accused Israel of carrying out that attack, but Israel has neither confirmed nor denied it.

Earlier, Foreign Secretary Lord Cameron told the BBC the UK had joined Israel’s defence against Iran in order to prevent an escalation of the conflict.

He said the attack – which he described as a “double defeat” for Iran because it had been “almost wholly unsuccessful” and also showed they were a “malign influence in the region” – could have resulted in thousands of casualties and led to greater escalation had it been successful. Lord Cameron urged Israel to be “smart” and “tough” as it considers its response.

Rishi Sunak

Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, the former prime minister added that Israel should turn its focus once more to the situation in Gaza and securing a deal to get the hostages home.Lord Cameron added that the UK did not support a retaliatory strike, echoing US President Joe Biden’s comment that Israel should “take the win”.

The UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and Germany’s foreign minister Annalena Baerbock have also called for calm, while French President Emmanuel Macron said France would do everything possible to avoid what he described as a regional conflagration.Israel’s cabinet and opposition leaders have met in Tel Aviv to consider their response to the attack.

Herzi Halevi, chief of staff of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), said Iran’s attacks would be “met with a response” and said Israel was considering its next steps.

Earlier, a spokesperson for the UK prime minister said the country and its allies were “clearly not briefed” by Tehran, in response to Iran’s assertion that it gave advanced warning of the attack.

Attack drones were intercepted by the RAF in Syrian and Iraqi airspace, where it was already operating with the US as part of the Operation Shader mission against the Islamic State group.

Lord Cameron confirmed the UK’s role was to “backfill” for the US and the RAF had agreed to shoot down Iranian drones if they came through that airspace.

Source: BBC

In other news – Rishi Sunak urges restraint after Iran’s attack on Israel

Rishi Sunak has called on “all sides” to “show restraint” after Iran’s attack on Israel on Saturday. The PM said he would speak to his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu to express solidarity and also discuss how to prevent “further escalation”. Mr Sunak told MPs Iran’s actions had been “reckless and dangerous”.

Rishi Sunak

Tehran launched more than 300 drones and missiles at Israel in retaliation for a deadly air strike on its consulate in Damascus. Read more

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