Academic Enrichment Blog |

Academic Enrichment Session – 22.11.2023

11 Nov 2023

By Will, Year 13 Academic Scholar

At our last academic enrichment session we spoke about the king’s speech which outlined the aims for the government. We focused heavily on the legislation around the “phasing out” ban on smoking, that proposes a ban on purchase of cigarettes that will prevent anyone under the age of 14 now from ever buying cigarettes.

This debate split the room, with some agreeing with the phasing out strategy, some agreeing on a ban on smoking, and some disagreeing with a ban at all. Points were made regarding the strain smoking-related diseases put on the NHS and the idea of smoking becoming “socially unacceptable”. In response to this, some argued that this could create a black market and also lose out on millions in smoking tax paid to the government. We compared the ban to a ban on similar products such as cannabis or alcohol; spoke about whether it is a UK citizen’s right to smoke even if they understand the consequences (as Ron Swanson would argue); and debated the importance of education around this topic.

We concluded that the best way to approach this debate would be to revaluate the role of the NHS today, so next week we will discuss this in greater detail.