The U.K. government plans to issue a law that will prohibit the advertisement and display of tobacco products in all stores in England. Also it will consider whether to sold cigarettes in plain packages as a part of the plan to reduce smoking rate.
According to this legislation all products will have to be placed out of sight. New rules are planned to be implemented on April 6, 2011, for large stores and till April 2015 for all other shops in order to permit smaller retailers to adapt to these regulations.
“More than 8 million people in England still smoke and it also leads to more than 80,000 deaths annually. I plan to cut smoking rates significantly within next five years that has been acquired in the past five years,” declared Health Secretary Andrew Lansley.
The given regulations are targeted mainly at preventing children from lightning up and helping youngsters who already smoke to quit,” Lansley stated.
The government wants to reduce smoking rates among 15 year-olds to 12% by 2015 from 15% today and among adults to 18.5 % from 21.2%.
“What concerns a plain package; the government is ready to implement it and wants to hear opinions. The government will decide upon an option that will reduce the advertisement influence of cigarette packaging, and an estimation of the impact of these options, before the end of 2011,” the health department declared.
“It is very important to understand that there is no proof that plain package would have any influence on smoking uptake by youngsters. In case the government insists to sell cigarettes only in plain packages, it would be the best moment for counterfeiters to smuggle cigarettes into the U.K.,” said British American Tobacco in a statement.
Similar measures were led in Australia, which declared that it would prohibit branding on cigarette packages, and Canada, which states that graphic health warnings should cover 75% of the surface.
“Approximately all adult smokers lighted up for the first time before they reached 18 years old and annually over 300,000 kids under 16 try smoking. I am in favor of eradicating tobacco displays in shops. We can’t ignore when children are attracted by these displays, which encourage them to light up a cigarette at an age when they are not able to decide what is good or bad,” Sally Davies, the chief medical officer for England, said in an interview.
All doctors encouraged the government’s plan and declared that they would prefer the new rules to be implemented more quickly.
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