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Tobacco display ban to begin in Scotland

13th December 2012

The ban on the display of cigarettes in Scottish shops looks set to go ahead from April following a court ruling.

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Imperial Tobacco had challenged the move at the Supreme Court, but lost out after a panel of five judges unanimously ruled against the company.

Expressing disappointment at the judgement, the company said it will await the publication of the regulations before considering its options.

The Scottish government said the judgement cleared the way for the ban to be introduced, which will bring the country into line with England, Wales and Northern Ireland where a ban on tobacco product displays is already in force.

MSPs passed the Tobacco and Primary Medical Services (Scotland) two years ago, allowing for a ban on cigarette displays and vending machines to come into force in a move designed to remove the temptation from young people to start smoking.

Imperial Tobacco launched the legal fight because it believed the act was outside the competence of Holyrood as sales supply and product safety were matters reserved to Westminster.

But the judges disagreed and in delivering the judgement, Lord Hope said the challenges by Imperial Tobacco were not well-founded.

Scotland’s Public Health minister Michael Matheson, said the judgement removed the “final barrier” to the act being implemented.

He added: “Given that this legislation was passed over two years ago and is already in force in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, there are strong arguments to introduce it immediately.”

But he added the April deadline would allow retailers sufficient time to make the necessary changes.

 

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