British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is considering tough anti-smoking measures that would effectively ban the next generation from ever buying cigarettes, The Guardian newspaper claims.

Government sources said the prime minister was considering measures similar to those introduced in New Zealand last December. This country will gradually increase the age at which tobacco products can be purchased, so that eventually they will no longer be sold to those born after January 1, 2009.

The government is also considering imposing a £10 fine on those who don’t show up for doctor or hospital appointments, but this could be politically damaging. Sunak had floated the idea when running for the Conservative leadership in the summer of 2022, but abandoned it when he took office.

The Labor party has hinted it is also considering phasing out the sale of cigarettes for the younger generation, in a similar way to New Zealand. Shadow health secretary Wes Streeting said last January he wanted to find out if there was an “appetite for change” in the country.