Government stubs out tobacco displays

09 December, 2008

Tobacco displays in shops will be banned from 2011 in large shops and 2013 in smaller stores, the government has announced.

The Department of Health has also laid plans to limit under-age access to cigarette vending machines, in a bid to stop people starting smoking when they are young.

Health secretary Alan Johnson said: “Enticing multi-coloured displays encourage young people to start smoking – we must put a stop to this. Smoking is a habit which is hard to break and causes 87,000 deaths a year in England alone."

The DoH said that countries such as Canada, which have already banned point-of-sale tobacco displays, have found no evidence that shops have had to close as a result – but that smoking among 15 to 19 year olds dropped as a result, from 29% in 2002 to 19% in 2007.

The DoH said in a statement: “Evidence from Canada suggests the costs of refitting stores could be as low as £550 per store. The government will work with trade bodies, provide support and ample lead-in time for compliance to minimise any burden on business.”

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