Cigarettes starting to pass their shelf life in England

2011-03-09 14:32

London – Cigarette displays will be banned from tobacconists from next year in England under new measures announced today.

Only temporary displays in “certain limited circumstances” will be allowed under the plans unveiled by the Department of Health.

The regulations will come into force for large stores in April next year and three years later for all other shops.

A consultation on whether cigarettes should be sold in plain packaging, in a bid to make them less appealing to young people, would be launched by the end of the year, the ministry added.

“Smoking is undeniably one of the biggest and most stubborn challenges in public health,” said Health Secretary Andrew Lansley.

“Over 8 million people in England still smoke, and it causes more than 80 000 deaths each year.

“We want to do everything we can to help people to choose to stop smoking and encourage young people not to start smoking in the first place,” Lansley said.

Retailers reacted angrily to the announcement, saying there was “simply no evidence” that keeping tobacco out of sight in shops will discourage young people from smoking.

“We are disappointed that the government is pressing ahead with a tobacco display ban imposing £40 million (R447 million) of costs on small retailers,” said James Lowman, chief executive of the Association of Convenience Stores.

But anti-smoking groups voiced their delight and urged the government to push ahead with the plain packaging proposals.

Blank packaging and a ban on public display have both been under discussion for several years.

England will join several countries, including Canada, Ireland and Finland, in removing cigarettes from tobacconists’ shelves.

Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland individually set their own smoking laws.

But England would be the first country in Europe to insist on plain packaging if the proposal goes ahead. Australia is due to introduce the measure in 2012.

Just over a fifth of British adults are smokers, according to the Department of Health.

The government estimates that treating smoking-related illnesses cost the state-run National Health Service £2.7 billion in 2006/07.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.