Cigarettes will be sold under the counter in the UK
In March, the UK Department of Health has developed measures to combat smoking, according to which sellers of cigarettes will be allowed to post their products on the counter.
Customers will be able to see tobacco products directly at buying or accidently during transportation of cigarettes in the store.
Putting tobacco products in open displays in England and Wales will be banned. Such a decision was announced by the British government.
The government hopes that the ban on open demonstration of cigarettes will help in the fight against smoking. A similar bill is being prepared in Scotland; Northern Ireland is already under way to discuss it.
However, critics of the bill argue that current measures are insufficient. Government advices about how to turn young people from smoking, started six months ago, led to the fact that the vast majority, about 100,000 of respondents supported a ban on the open demonstration of tobacco products on store shelves.
According to Jane Driper, the correspondent of BBC regarding medicine, Health Minister Alan Johnson was very impressed with the data obtained from other countries, indicating that the ban directly affects the number of cigarettes.
The government argued that in countries where tobacco products are removed from the display cases – such as Iceland or Thailand – the percentage of smoking youth has declined by as much as 10%.
Large stores and supermarkets will start to sell cigarettes from under the counter from April 2012. In 2015, this innovation will touch all little shops as well. Originally it was planned to introduce these measures already in the autumn of 2011, but starting date of innovation’s action was postponed under pressure from producers and marketers of tobacco products. But it is proposed to prohibit selling of cigarettes in the autumn of this year.
The Department also decides the introduction of single-sample packages of tobacco products. According to the Government’s initiative, all cigarettes will be sold in the same type, plain packaging without the logo and the traditional colorful design.
A plan on reducing smokers was adopted by the Department in connection with the extremely poor situation with smoking in the UK. At present, there are more than 21 percent of smoking adult people.
30 years ago this figure was 40%, but due to one of the toughest in the world laws against smoking, the number of smokers has decreased by almost 20%. But now, according to data of the Department, each year 80 thousand people die from the effects of smoking in the country. By implementing measures, the government plans to gradually reduce the number of smokers, from 18.5 percent in 2015. Similar measures have been implemented in Australia.
However, representatives of the British Heart Foundation – the fund involved in the fight against cardiovascular disease – argue that the only way to protect children from the opportunity to buy cigarettes is a total ban on tobacco vending products.
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