British Considering Ban on Cigarette Displays..

December 1, 2008 - Background - on May 31, 2008 the British Government's Department of Health (DH) released a paper on the future of tobacco control for the United Kingdom. During this consultation, interested parties had 12-weeks period (until September 8, 2008) to provide comments that should be considered before formalizing a National Tobacco Strategy. One of the 4-main areas in developing this strategy was concerned with protecting children and young people from smoking.

One strategy the government is weighing is a ban on the display of cigarette packets in all stores, forcing shopkeepers to store them out of view. Action on Smoking and Health, an anti-smoking group, says the government could introduce legislation calling for a ban as soon as Wednesday, December 3, 2008, when Parliament opens.

Attractive-looking packets, as packages are called in Britain, are one of the few remaining options tobacco companies have to appeal to smokers in the developed world, where cigarette advertising is heavily restricted. But bans against store displays are relatively rare. Iceland, Thailand, the British Virgin Islands and some Canadian provinces prohibit cigarette packets from being displayed in shops, the U.K. Department of Health said.

The tobacco industry such as London-based British American Tobacco (BAT) is concerned about the prospect of a new restriction, one which cigarette makers argue wouldn't cut smoking rates. BAT says the anti-smoking lobby is trying to freeze it out of the policy process. The U.K. and other governments should "consult properly with the well-run and responsible part of the tobacco industry," BAT Chief Executive Paul Adams said. (BAT cautions against WHO measures, Tobacco Journal International, 11/24/2008)

BAT and other tobacco companies are particularly worried about a World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) treaty that aims to exert more control over the industry. In the last meeting in November 2008 representatives from more than 150 countries met in Durban, South Africa, to discuss guidelines that would limit the ability of tobacco companies.

Reference: Out of Sight, Out of Mouth? As U.K. Considers Ban On Cigarette Displays, Industry Says Butt Out by Aaron O. Patrick, The Wall Street Journal, 12/1/2008.

A few related news briefs: More evidence - tobacco displays increase the risk of teens smoking..; More New South Wales - Sweeping Anti-Tobacco Measures..; "Please get tobacco out of our kids faces," Dr. Harley Stanton (elected as President of the Asia-Pacific Assoc. for the Control of Tobacco)..; Tobacco Display Ban Deadline of May 31, 2008 Looms in Ontario and Quebec..; Tobacco displays are on their way out in an increasing number of countries..; Ireland - 80% of smokers want a ban on tobacco advertising in shops to stop youngsters starting the habit.. and Nova Scotia (NS) - ban on point of sale tobacco advertising..
In the U.S the City of San Francisco has banned the sale of tobacco products in all pharmacies.. and some grocery-type stores have eliminated selling tobacco products.

Let It Continue..

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