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The All Party Parliamentary Group on Smoking and Health put forward the idea earlier this month, and now a leading doctor, Imperial College London respiratory specialist Dr Nicholas Hopkinson, has written in the British Medical Journalarguing the case for the change.

Helping existing smokers to quit is important, says Dr Hopkinson, who also chairs the Action on Smoking and Health campaign group, but "the most vital element" is to prevent young people from starting in the first place.