October 8, 2010 - The department of health is proposing to ban tobacco displays in retail locations in Northern Ireland as of 1 July 2011, the Belfast Telegraph reported on Friday, October 1st.
The assembly had already approved the display ban in March 2009, but Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) politicians wanted the ban to take effect in 2013 to give retailers the time to fund changes to their premises. (Northern Ireland - assembly approves ban on display of tobacco items..)
Health minister Michael McGimpsey: “By introducing measures banning cigarette displays in shops, we are protecting our children and young people, and we are also supporting those smokers in our society who are attempting to quit.
Every year, 2,700 deaths in Northern Ireland are caused by smoking.
Merchants feel the cigarette displays in shops would increase the number of smokers buying on the black market. Three-quarters of corner shopkeepers believed putting tobacco under the counter will make smokers feel like they are doing something illegal, a survey for the Tobacco Retailers' Alliance said. (Concern over cigarette display ban, Belfast Telegraph, 8/25/2010)
Health Minister Micheal McGimpsey launched a consultation which puts the current tobacco control regulations under scrutiny on Friday, October 1, 2010. It will seek views from retailers and members of the public on the advertising of tobacco in shops and the sale of tobacco from vending machines. If the proposals go ahead, tobacco displays at point of sale in shops will be banned from 1 July 2011 and in vending machines from 1 October 2011.
Reference: 2011 date for cigarette display ban, U TV News, 10/1/2010.