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Britain to ban cigarette display in shops
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22:04, December 09, 2008

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Britain plans to prohibit cigarette displays in shops and prevent underage access to vending machines as part of the country's health strategy next year.

Official plans revealed Tuesday put children and young people at the forefront of the tobacco control campaign.

"Protecting children from smoking is our goal," said Health Secretary Alan Johnson, noting that smoking causes 87,000 deaths a year in England alone.

"My hope is that shops will use this opportunity to promote healthier goods to their customers," said Johnson.

Over 96,000 responses were received for a Department of Health survey on the future of tobacco control -- the largest ever response to a study of such kind.

Respondents overwhelmingly supported removing tobacco displays in shops and tough action to restrict underage access to vending machines. These measures will be taken forward in primary legislation through the Health Bill in the next parliamentary session.

Since the ban on tobacco advertising, retail displays in shops are the main way in which tobacco products are marketed to children.

Over eight in 10 adults in Britain who have ever smoked regularly say that they started before they were 19.

In 2007, nearly 200,000 children in England between 11 and 15 years of age were regular smokers. These children are three times more likely to die of cancer than someone who starts smoking in their mid-20s.


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