- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The British Medical Association (BMA) voted Tuesday during its annual conference in favor of banning cigarette sales to anyone born after 2000 — a controversial move that some critics argue would create a giant black market.

The doctors’ union is now expected to lobby the government to adopt the ban, in the same way it successfully pushed for a ban on smoking in public places, The Guardian reported.

Dr. Tim Crocker-Buque proposed the motion in hopes to make the U.K. the first country to eradicate cigarettes.

“Smoking is not a rational, informed choice of adulthood,” he said, The Guardian reported. “Eighty percent of smokers start as teenagers as a result of intense peer pressure.”

Dr. Stephen Watkins, a member of the BMA’s governing body supported the idea, saying it made no sense to allow tobacco while banning drugs such as heroin, BBC reported.

But not everyone backed the idea.

Dr. Yohanna Takwoingi, an ear, nose and throat specialist, called it “a headline-grabbing initiative that would bring ridicule to the profession.”

Simon Clark, director of the tobacco lobby group Forest, said: “Prohibition doesn’t work. It will create a huge black market in cigarettes and drive generations of adult smokers into the hands of illicit traders, BBC reported.

“Criminalizing adults for buying tobacco is illiberal and impractical. Tobacco is still a legal product and you can’t permit some adults to buy cigarettes but deny that right to others.”