Anger over smoking restrictions2nd June 2008
A government scheme which aims to stop young people smoking could see cigarette vending machines banned in England, Wales and Scotland.
A similarly intentioned range of anti-smoking restrictions was proposed in by the Scottish government in May.
Smokers' rights groups have angrily condemned the proposals and said there was "no evidence" to suggest that outlawing the machines would stop people smoking.
A new television advertising campaign is being aired which warns parents that their children are "three times more likely" to smoke if they do than children of non-smokers.
The government is also considering banning packets of 10 cigarettes, which cost less than larger packets.
Public Health Minister Dawn Primarolo said: "Protecting children from smoking is a government priority and taking away temptation is one way to do this."
She added that if the introduction of a ban on colourful containers and packets of 10 cigarettes could help to prevent deaths then the government should do it, but they needed to listen to people's opinions first.
The anti-smoking group Ash carried out a survey of 3,330 people which showed that 65% thought a complete ban was a good idea for vending machines and 43% supported "plain packaging".
The director of The Tobacco Manufacturers' Association Chris Ogden, said: "Any sensible proposals...should be supported by credible evidence that they would address the government's stated objectives."
Forest spokesman Neil Rafferty said: "As far as vending machines go, the simple solution is to make them credit card operated - then children can't use them."
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Title: Anger over smoking restrictions
Author: Jess Laurence
Article Id: 6955
Date Added: 2nd Jun 2008