Tobacco display ban 'to curb young smokers'

 
Cigarettes on display The display ban is only coming into force in large shops and supermarkets this year

Related Stories

A ban on tobacco displays is coming into force in England - with ministers promising it will help curb the number of young people taking up smoking.

Cigarettes and other products will have to be kept below the counter in large shops and supermarkets, while small outlets are exempt until 2015.

Other parts of the UK are planning similar action to drive down smoking rates.

Critics say the ban is discriminatory and will not discourage young smokers.

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley told the BBC he hoped the ban would prevent people from taking up smoking and also help those trying to give up.

Start Quote

I hope we can make a big difference”

End Quote Andrew Lansley Health Secretary

He said: "Firstly, it reduces the visibility of tobacco and smoking to young people. And, of course two-thirds of smokers started smoking before they were eighteen.

"So, if we can, literally, arrive at a place where young people just don't think about smoking and they don't see tobacco and they don't see cigarettes - then I hope we can make a big difference."

He said the government recognised the pressures on retailers to comply with the ban but added: "We want to arrive at a place where we no longer see smoking as a normal part of life. We're doing it by stages with constant active pressure."

'Colourful displays'

A fifth of adults smoke - a figure which has remained steady in recent years after decades of rapid falls.

A plan to force manufacturers to put cigarettes into plain packets is also expected to be put out to consultation later this year.

The display ban will apply to shops of more than 280 sq m (3,014 sq ft).

Start Quote

It's essential that we create a culture that promotes and protects public health and tobacco legislation is a significant factor in making this happen”

End Quote Jo Butcher National Children's Bureau

Public health minister Anne Milton cited evidence from Ireland which suggested the measure could play an important role in discouraging young people in particular from smoking.

"We cannot ignore the fact that young people are recruited into smoking by colourful, eye-catching, cigarette displays.

"Most adult smokers started smoking as teenagers and we need to stop this trend."

Jo Butcher, of the National Children's Bureau, agreed: "It's essential that we create a culture that promotes and protects public health and tobacco legislation is a significant factor in making this happen."

Jean King, of charity Cancer Research UK, said the ban would help stop children who are attracted to brightly coloured tobacco packaging from taking up smoking but further action was still needed.

"Of course we want to see the pack branding taken away as well. This is not a normal consumer product, it kills people. We want to protect the next generation of children," she said.

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley: "We want to arrive at a place where we no longer see smoking as a normal part of life"

However, the move has upset the tobacco industry.

Moves by Scotland to introduce such a ban have been delayed by legal action taken by Imperial Tobacco.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for British American Tobacco said: "We do not believe that hiding products under the counter or behind curtains or screens will discourage people, including the young, from taking up smoking.

"There's no sound evidence to prove display bans are justified."

He added if anything it could encourage the illicit trade of tobacco products.

'Social lepers'

Andrew Opie, from the British Retail Consortium, said it was wrong to believe the legislation would have a major effect on young people and it was supermarkets and other shops which were bearing the brunt of the costs needed to comply with the ban.

He said the organisation had calculated that it cost more than £15m to ensure everything was sorted out before the ban came into place.

He said: "Children are more likely to smoke when they're in a household where parents smoke and also they tend to get their cigarettes from either parents, or older peers, not directly from supermarkets.

Start Quote

The idea of the anti-smoker groups is to denormalise us and to turn us into social lepers”

End Quote David Atherton Freedom to Choose

"It's certainly caused a lot of disruption to retailers as they didn't actually get that much notice to comply - and if you think that this is 6,000 shops in England, there are only so many shop-fitters that can do the work."

David Atherton from the pro-smoking Freedom to Choose pressure group told BBC Radio 5 live he believed the state should not interfere with people's personal habits and added: "The idea of the anti-smoker groups is to denormalise us and to turn us into social lepers."

The display ban was announced by the government last year as part of its tobacco control strategy.

Although the legislation allowing it to happen was actually put in place by the Labour government before it lost power in 2010.

A number of countries, including Canada, Ireland, Iceland and Finland, have already introduced similar bans.

Prof David Hammond from the University of Waterloo in Ontario, said the ban led to a decline in smoking - especially among the young - in Canada.

"The declines were greatest in the provinces where the ban had been implemented the longest. And that's consistent with the idea that when you remove something like marketing, it takes some time for the residual marketing to wear out."

 

More on This Story

Related Stories

From other news sites

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

Comments

This entry is now closed for comments

Jump to comments pagination
 
  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 380.

    #219 – ‘...real cancer...’? You mean smoker induced cancer is make-belief? There are many cancers unrelated to smoking. Amazingly some live to a ripe old age (Bette Davis springs to mind) though sadly she succumbed to cancer in her senior years, causing a mastectomy, though she died of a stroke a week later.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 379.

    "streaky
    NHS total estimated smoking costs, £2.8 billion (probably less now)."

    NHS direct costs of smoking related diseases are estimated at £5B. When you add in the indirect costs, lost productivity, lost tax revenues from that lost productivity and the prevalence of smoking in the non-working and low paid population most dependent on benefits, then smoking is a big net loss to the state.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 378.

    374. saddletramp
    JUST NOW

    Yes. It is all in the mind. If you want to give anything up you just do it.

    Not that liberals accept that. They rather make excuses up.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 377.

    Meanwhile, a spokesman for British American Tobacco said: "We do not believe that hiding products under the counter or behind curtains or screens will discourage people, including the young, from taking up smoking."

    - Then you've got nothing to worry about then!

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 376.

    @ 327.Leaguefan
    Once again this needs to be said medical care is not FREE it is paid for by each and every taxpaying person living in this country everything anyone buys or does has VAT duty and other taxes which pays for medical care.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 375.

    Our hospial has banned smoking from anywhere on its grounds, this is so much better as it means we don't have to go through smokers when going in through the doors now. When are supermarkets/shops going to do this as we see vast numbers just out side the door, so have to hold our breath but still have to put up with the smoke in our faces. It might deter people as they would have to walk further

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 374.

    What a load of carp to compare "addiction" to tobacco,"with drug taking.
    I smoked for many years,i gave up without any patches,chewing gum,or any other artificial aids,i just gave up.
    Dont see many Heroin addicts doing that.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 373.

    My life my choice, not the Nanny States.

  • rate this
    -4

    Comment number 372.

    There should be a total ban and the sales of the disgusting things stopped I for one am tired of the thick wall of foul smelling smoke outside of every shop on every high street in every town as the inconsiderate people who smoke stand in the doorway indulging in their foul habit. Just ban it and let that be the end of the matter. The savings on the NHS will far outweigh any tax rises

  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 371.

    267.marc_ely
    Sorry to hear about your mother but COPD also happens in horses and other animals sorry but they do not smoke.
    The fact remains many will still get the same diseases even if they never smoke and no one will become immortal so will still die still require the same hospitals but of course less taxes
    Taxes from smoking more than pay for all the NHS including your mothers needs

  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 370.

    Pushing it into the underground won't stop smoking, if anything it will just increase the want for people to do it. Weed isn't displayed in Tesco at all which obviously means it's no longer part of the UK's lifestyle.....

  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 369.

    @Talon1 - no, as a smoker I have been funding the NHS for many years; if/when I come to need medical care as a result of my smoking, then I will have more than paid for the care I will need.

    As a non-smoker, when YOU need medical care, perhaps you should pay some money - I would imagine I have given substantially more money to the NHS over the years as opposed to a non-smoker.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 368.

    @Talon1, As smokers dont we already pay for our healthcare treatment? We pay tax when purchasing cigarettes. Where do you draw the line on treatment that is "self inflicted" .drunk drivers? drug abusers? they are choices people make yet yoy would still allow them to enjoy "free" health treatment, yet punish smokers twice?

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 367.

    Surely the fact that it is against the law to smoke until you are 18 is enough? "We cannot ignore the fact that young people are recruited into smoking by colourful, eye-catching, cigarette displays." Have these people seen cigarette displays??! Infact, I think they should probably hide the fruit and veg isle too, because the colours down there are mind blowing.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 366.

    If I wanted to start smoking I can just go to your corner shop, and not a supermarket. in supermarkets where cigarettes and tobacco products are behind screens. But not in corner shops, Is this pathetic rule going help to stop smokers, I don't think it will, if they want to smoke they will smoke, is crack cocaine is sold behind a screen in a shop and you can see it before you it. Smoking is legal!

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 365.

    317 Polly

    Obviously you are better informed than I but I don't recall the time when illegal drugs were freely displayed in attractive packaging. Saying it hasnt worked with heroin etc is a ridiculous assertion.

    331 Ian 'Now smokers will go to the black market more than ever'

    Why? Is the average smoker only able to point at a package on full display? Can't they speak?

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 364.

    Hiding them will just increase their alure. If you ridicule & laugh at smokers then this will stop the young who would no longer see it as attractive. Unfortunately, in this PC world this will never happen.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 363.

    ref# 57
    "I do not agree with Islamic Laws but for robbery they remove a hand and this works. "

    IF that were TRUE then no hands would be cut off - would they?

    Idiot!

  • rate this
    -3

    Comment number 362.

    To those who say it won't make any difference, of course it won't for those that already smoke. The aim is to stop new smokers taking up the habit. The old ones will die off soon enough.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 361.

    335.slouching_towards_Bethlehem

    I reckon that over time governments could absorb £9 billion lost from tobacco duties, especially with £5 billion being the cost of smoking to the NHS.
    Yes, someone would end up paying more, ie us, but isn't that a price worth paying for the nation's health?

    Obesity is even more of a problem. That is an education issue not solved by taxing fattening foods.

 

Page 41 of 59

 

More Health stories

RSS

Features

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.