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Saturday 24th August 2019

Tobacco displays to end in one month

8th March 2012

All large shops in England will be required to hide tobacco produces from view from April 6.

The move is designed to cut the number of smokers and protect young people, who are often the target of tobacco promotion.

A number of major retailers, including Sainsbury’s, The Co-operative and Waitrose, have already been trialling hiding tobacco displays.

The Department of Health has warned that other shops have just one month to find out if they are classified as a large shop - defined as having a relevant floor space of more than 280m² - and plan how they are going to cover up their tobacco displays and train counter staff on the new law.

The driving factor behind the initiative is a view that ending open cigarette displays will help people trying to quit smoking and help change attitudes and social norms around smoking.

Chief Medical Officer, Professor Dame Sally Davies said: “More than 8 million people in England still smoke – it is our biggest preventable killer and causes more than 80,000 deaths each year.

“Nearly two-thirds of current and ex-smokers say that they started smoking before they were 18, with 39% saying that they were smoking regularly before the age of 16.

“With only one month to go until large shops need to cover up their tobacco displays, we will soon start protecting children and young people from the unsolicited promotion of tobacco products in shops, helping them to resist the temptation to start smoking. This will also help and support adults who are trying to quit.”


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Thursday 8th March 2012 @ 15:33


It is hard to understand the actions of the Department of Health. They ban vending machines - to stop young people taking up smoking. Before that measure can be assessed they then introduce a costly exercise in banning the display of cigarettes in "large" shops. Before that measure can be introduced they announce a plan to hold a public consultation on the plain packaging of tobacco. Any reasonable researcher would argue that one should exercise caution in attempting too many initiatives at one time - since you are unable to measure the effectiveness of any one activity (and therefore assess where to focus one's efforts going forward). It is also know that Australia will introduce plain packaging of tobacco products later this year. It makes sense to assess the impact there before rushing to yet more legisilation -particularly when plain packaging carries risks of so many unintended consequences.

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