England bans cigarette vending machines

2011-10-01 20:30

London - Cigarette vending machines were banned in England on Saturday, a move the government hopes will cut the number of children smoking.

Anyone caught selling cigarettes from the machines, usually found in pubs and clubs, could face a fine of £2 500. Pubs will still be able to sell cigarettes from behind the bar.

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said: "Smoking is one of the biggest and most stubborn challenges in public health. Over eight million people (about 15%) in England still smoke and it causes more than 80 000 deaths each year.

"Cigarette vending machines are often unsupervised, making it easy for children to purchase cigarettes from them.

"The ban on cigarette sales from vending machines will protect children by making cigarettes less accessible to them - we want to do everything we can to encourage young people not to start smoking in the first place."

The British Heart Foundation charity said that about 200 000 youngsters start smoking regularly in England each year, with about 11% of regular smokers aged 11 to 15 getting their cigarettes from vending machines.

It is illegal to sell tobacco in Britain to anyone under the age of 18.

Elsewhere in the United Kingdom, cigarette vending machines are to be banned in Northern Ireland in February, while Scotland and Wales are committed to introducing a ban.

Meanwhile, in April 2012, all large retailers in England and Scotland will have to take all tobacco off display, with small shops having until April 2015 to comply.

The government is due to launch a public consultation on whether cigarettes should be sold in plain packaging with no logos or branding.

Smoking in enclosed public places was banned in England in July 2007.

  • darkwing - 2011-10-01 20:47

    Now, this is a strategy that could work instead of banning ads. Who polices these machines in our country anyway?

      Johan van Zyl - 2011-10-02 08:46

      We don't want people to quit... Smoke... Die... we need the space!

  • Notuagain - 2011-10-01 21:24

    Good grief. Like that will stop kids......ha ha Show them clips of people battling to live from the effects of smoking, like emphysema, that might stop them....although I doubt it. The effects of drug addictions have been advertised for years, and they still get hooked.

      darkwing - 2011-10-01 21:45

      Any smoker will tell you that this not work. It's an addiction. Smokers know what the risks are. My father was dying from emphysema and I still took a pack from his toiletries when he went into hospital to die.

  • dave.loughton - 2011-10-01 21:37

    Only one answer - ban tobacco altogether! Oh no, can't do that government makes too much tax out of this poison!

  • Chillibean - 2011-10-02 04:34

    Ban alcohol and the thousands of pubs in England - maybe that will help. Smoking is a terrible disease/sickness/addiction and cigarettes should be obliterated from the planet!!! However - they won't be because governments BENEFIT from the sale of cigarettes. They are not "mind-altering" as is that disgusting liquid - ALCOHOL!

      zaatheist - 2011-10-02 05:09

      Relax - Have a beer.

  • Stef_van_NAM - 2011-10-02 07:08

    This whole anti smoking campaign is creating more awareness in children than all the adds and vending machines together. Children are by nature curious and all this hub-hub makes even more youngsters want to try smoking to find what the noise is about. The emphasis should rather be on dissuading those children (and adults) that do not smoke not to try it. I do realise this is easier said than done: Their is this embedded image that the IN boys and girls smoke, and are as such revered and idolised for their (sometimes open) defiance of rule and norm.

  • Collitjies - 2011-10-02 10:20

    Obviously the British government no longer needs the HUGE amount of tax they receive from cigarette sales so therefore tax on tobacco products should be done away with forth with. Well it appears that way.

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