Tobacco displays to be outlawed in England
London, March 9, 2011
All shops in England will be banned from openly displaying tobacco products by April 2015 as part of a government package of tough measures to cut smoking.
Announcing the legislation on national No Smoking Day, the Department of Health said the new rules will be phased in to give retailers time to adjust. Cigarettes and other tobacco products will need to be kept out of sight in large stores and supermarkets by 2012 and in small shops by 2015, ministers said.
Only temporary displays in "certain limited circumstances" will be allowed as the changes take effect, the Department of Health said.
"Smoking is undeniably one of the biggest and most stubborn challenges in public health. Over eight million people in England still smoke and it causes more than 80,000 deaths each year," said Health Secretary Andrew Lansley in a statement.
The rules were part of a strategy to stamp out smoking by stopping the promotion of tobacco by making it less affordable and helping users to quit, he added.
Just over 20 per cent of adults smoke in England and the government wants to reduce that to 18.5 per cent by 2015.
The government said it was keeping an "open mind" on whether manufacturers should be forced to place cigarettes in plain packaging and is planning a consultation on different options before the end of this year. – Reuters