Displays of tobacco products to be banned in United Kingdom

Published on November 23rd, 2010 13:25

It should have been one of the most rigorous anti-smoking legislations across the European Union, but now hopes of various United Kingdom’s health groups have been dashed, as the government decided to weak the prohibition on displays of tobacco products in the points of sale.

The law stopping the UK’s shops from displaying tobacco products, which was set to be adopted in 2011, is to be eased off after the lawmakers decided that the legislation can indeed hurt small shops and promote black-market sales of tobacco products.

Shopkeepers and tobacco companies have argued that a ban on cigarette displays would dramatically hurt business and is unconstitutional. Together, they have convinced the United Kingdom government to stop the adoption of the anti-tobacco law approved last year by the previous government, citing the significant growth of illicit cigarette sale in Ireland where a similar ban had been passed last year.

displays of tobacco products

The UK Business Department headed by Liberal Democrat MP Vince Cable is currently preparing modification in the legislation, named Health Act, which could need the approval of House of Commons approval and the department of health. However, a source confirmed that the new version of the Act would be a compromise.

Opponents of the legislation prohibiting the cigarette display in points of sale have been in good spirits recently after the newly appointed health secretary Anne Milton admitted that the government is currently holding negotiations in the Whitehall (i.e. UK governmental administration building), and trying to introduce ways to go around the legislation banning displays of cigarettes in shops for those points of sale that need a reasonable balance between public health and business.

In Ireland, black-market sales of tobacco products have grown dramatically after the ban on cigarette displays in points of sale was implemented in 2009, according to Christopher Ogden, CEO of the Association of Tobacco Manufacturers. He said that the evidence collected in Ireland should be enough to prove the UK government that criminals only benefited from the ban, as such restrictions do nothing but encourage many smokers to purchase their cigarettes on the streets.

British Prime Minister David Cameron who is said to be a friend of all UK pubs, confirmed that he has no intention to reverse the public smoking ban which banned smoking in all indoor venues across the country since 2007 citing the research carried out by the department of public health that discovered that the number of infarctions went down by 10 percent within 12 months after the ban on smoking was implemented.

In other countries across the European Union there is some good news for smokers as well, after the recently-elected Dutch government has voted to partially relax the smoking ban approved back in 2008 that is hurting small pubs significantly.

In addition, the Spanish parliament is also dealing with the opposition to the new severe smoking ban which is going to be introduced throughout the country in January.

By Kevin Lawson, Staff Writer. Copyright © 2010 TobaccoPub.com. All rights reserved.

Related tags: tobacco market | tobacco regulation | tobacco shop | smoking lay

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