‘Legislation is a step in the right direction towards reducing smoking addiction in childhood’
The Trading Standards Institute congratulates the Government for deciding to go ahead with legislation to prohibit retail premises from having tobacco displays.
The announcement was included in the national Healthy Lives, Healthy People: A Tobacco Control Plan for England which sets out how tobacco control will be delivered over the next five years.
Dennis Ager, joint lead officer for age-restricted sales, said: ‘This legislation will be a further step in the right direction towards creating an environment in which smoking continues to be less attractive to children, as well as supporting adult smokers who are attempting to quit.’
Large retailers will be required to comply with the legislation from April 2012 and all other retailers will not be required to comply until April 2015. Dennis added: ‘The implementation dates should allow retailers sufficient time to prepare for these important changes which are necessary to improve public health and protect children. Retailers can rest assured that trading standards will work closely with them to ensure compliance by offering appropriate advice and support.’
Evidence gathered during 2010 by trading standards departments showed tobacco companies had targeted large music festivals to promote their products. Due to the events having large teenage audiences, the manufacturers were able to target the youths through sponsorships and special promotional displays of tobacco packs. Such evidence highlights the need for effective enforcement of tobacco control legislation and TSI applauds the Government in recognising that effective enforcement is a key element of its comprehensive approach to improving public health.
Every year 100,000 people in the UK die prematurely from tobacco related illness and approximately 340,000 under 16s try cigarettes for the first time . It is estimated that eight out of ten smokers start before the age of 19 . With these figures in mind, the Trading Standards Institute (TSI) also welcomes the measures to further restrict children’s access to tobacco products by prohibiting the sale of tobacco products from vending machines from October 2011.
TSI is a partner of the Smokefree Action Coalition – an organisation of more than 160 health and welfare organisations and charities who are all committed to reducing the burden of harm caused by tobacco products.
Deborah Arnott, chief executive of Action on Smoking and Health said: ‘This is a great day for public health. The Smokefree Action Coalition congratulates the government for putting children’s health before tobacco industry profits’.
Notes for Editors:
For further information or to arrange an interview please contact Lizi Piggins at TSI press office on 08456089430 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Trading Standards Institute (TSI)
TSI is a training and membership organisation that has represented the interests of the Trading Standards profession since 1881 nationally and internationally. We aim to raise the profile of the profession while working towards fairer, better informed and safer consumer and business communities.
TSI’s members are engaged in delivering frontline trading standards services in local authorities and in businesses. We are also supporting the delivery of initiatives such as the advice services Consumer Direct, UK ECC and UK ECCS.