Portsmouth smokers praise plans to end tobacco over a generation - but warn of 'uproar' over a sudden ban

SMOKERS in Portsmouth have welcomed a proposal to make the next generation tobacco-less – but they warned there would be an ‘uproar’ if the government came for everyone’s cigarettes.

Residents puffing away around Commercial Road in the city centre supported the Khan Review’s proposals to curtail smoking, but many were sceptical that the measures would completely eradicate cigarettes and the like.

Many residents said that peer pressure had led them to their first cigarette when they were underage – and they wished that the proposed efforts to stamp out smoking had come into effect decades ago.

TJ Waste worker Ed Lee, 21, said that he welcomed the ideas after losing several friends to smoking-related illnesses – but he still remained a tobacco user.

Ed Lee said he favoured the smoking phase-out proposals - as he had lost several friends to smoking-related illnesses

Ed said: ‘I think it’s a good idea. A lot of people aren’t going to like it – but it does need to happen. Too many people die from it.

‘I have lost a few friends because of smoking – I lost my friend to lung cancer, he was about the same age as me. But it didn’t make me give up.

‘I vape, but I still smoke tobacco – it’s habit.’

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Havant resident Sydney said she wished the proposals had come in before she had taken up smoking - when she was just 13.

Mum Sydney, out shopping with her one-year-old son, said she took up smoking when she was just 13.

The 24-year-old said: ‘I wish I hadn’t taken it up. It’s stupidly expensive.

‘I probably wouldn’t have picked it up if (the proposals) had been brought in when I was younger.

She added: ‘I would really care if they cut out all tobacco – there would be uproar in Portsmouth.’

The Havant resident also welcomed the proposal to spend tens of millions more cash on quitting programmes, saying that her previous efforts to quit had failed.

She said: ‘You get the odd pamphlet about quitting and that’s it.

‘If you got something more out of it, that would be a good incentive.’

Fratton resident Shelley, who has worked behind the bar at the Royal Standard pub in Edinburgh Road for more than 20 years, predicted a tobacco-less generation would have a minimal impact on the pub trade.

She said: ‘I wish it had come in when I was younger – I want to know my children will never smoke.’