Public health leads at Northumberland County Council have celebrated the new Tobacco and Vapes Bill, hoping it will lead to a smoke-free generation.

The legislation, laid before the House of Commons on March 20, proposes to increase the legal age for purchasing tobacco in England, with the age limit rising annually from 2027.

This means that it will be illegal for anyone aged 15 or younger this year to ever be sold tobacco.

Northumberland executive director of public health, Gill O’Neill said: "I am delighted to see that the new legislation means anyone born after January 1, 2009, will never legally be allowed to be sold cigarettes in England.

"Preventing children from ever taking up smoking will give them the best possible start in life and help us work towards a smoke-free generation."

Cllr Wendy Pattison, chair of the Northumberland Tobacco Control Partnership, said: "Smoking is the biggest cause of ill health, disability and death in the country, so we need to do all we can to prevent our children from ever starting the habit and I am delighted that this new Bill is a fantastic opportunity to do just that."

Included in the Bill are plans to ban disposable vapes, limit vape flavours, introduce plain packaging, and alter their in-shop display to deter children.