§ Mr. Jim Cunningham
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment his Department has made of the effect of raising the minimum age for smoking to(a) 18 and (b) 21 years old, with particular reference to the development and health of young people. 
§ Miss Melanie Johnson [holding answer 10 November 2003]
The Government is aware of the difficulties in enforcing the existing age limit for smoking. We are not convinced that raising the minimum age to 18 or 21 will resolve the problem of teenage smoking. The key is to improve enforcement of existing legislation. The Department continues to work closely with representatives of Trading Standards and the Local Authorities Coordinators of Regulatory Services to achieve this.