News & Comment

Smoking no longer "part of life" says Health Secretary

Sat 7th April, 2012

Smoking should no longer be considered an acceptable part of normal life, says Health Secretary Andrew Lansley.

"The culture is about moving to a place where tobacco and smoking isn't part of normal life: people don't encounter it normally, they don't see it in their big supermarkets, they don't see people smoking in public places, they don't see tobacco vending machines," he added.

"We are going to continue to try to act against smoking for the simple reason that most smokers want to quit and it is the biggest avoidable cause of early mortality."

Lansley's comments follow the introduction of a ban on the display of all tobacco products in large shops and superstores in the UK from Friday April 6.

Health Minister Anne Milton said: "We cannot ignore the fact that young people are recruited into smoking by colourful, eye-catching, cigarette displays. Most adult smokers started as teenagers and we need to stop this trend.

"Banning displays of cigarettes and tobacco will help young people resist the pressure to start smoking and help the thousands of adults in England who are trying to quit."

The new measure was criticised by Forest. Director Simon Clark said: "There is no justification for a display ban.

"There are tens of millions of people in Britain today who have never smoked and have never been encouraged to smoke by the sight of a packet of cigarettes in a shop or anywhere else.

"After some initial confusion existing smokers will ask for their regular brand and carry on smoking."

It is likely similar measures will eventually be introduced in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland in future.

Source: Sky News (6 April 2012), Independent (7 April 2012)

See also interview with Forest director Simon Clark on ITV News (6 April 2012)

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