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Cigarette display ban?

25th March 2008

The government is considering plans to stop the display of cigarette packets in shops in England, in order to deter young people from taking up smoking.

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The imposition of stricter measures on vending machines in pubs and restaurants is also under discussion and there will be a public consultation.

Public Health Minister Dawn Primarolo stated that it was very important to let children understand "smoking is bad".

"If that means stripping out vending machines or removing cigarettes from behind the counter, I'm willing to do that," she said.

Ms Primarolo added that children who smoked were putting their lives in danger and were "more likely to die of cancer than people who start smoking later."

The Department of Health has referred to studies which show that a person who begins to smoke at 15 will have triple the danger of dying from smoking-related cancer than someone who begins in their late twenties.

The Conservative leader David Cameron supported the proposals and said in his experience as a former smoker, it was useful to remove the "temptation" to smoke.

He added that the process would be "difficult and there will be all sorts of problems in terms of the layout of shops" so it was important to consult the public.

The proposals follow last year's smoking ban in public places, which was brought into force in July 2007. The new proposal could make cigarettes and other items which contain tobacco only available for sale "under the counter".


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