Cigarette display ban will ‘help stop children taking up smoking’

6 April 2015        

Standard packaging

No shops or public premises will be able to sell tobacco products on open display from today.

Legislation coming into force today means that newsagents, convenience stores, petrol stations, hotels, pubs and nightclubs will no longer be able to display cigarette packs for sale.

In most cases packs will be kept behind sliding doors and will only be in view when staff are serving customers.

Since 2012, large shops such as supermarkets have not been able to have open displays of tobacco in stores.

We welcome this development and believe it will help to stop children taking up smoking.

Simon Gillespie, our Chief Executive, said: “By taking cigarettes off the display shelves we’re cutting off one of the last avenues that tobacco companies have to entice young people to smoke.

“Tobacco products kill around half of users, so we have a responsibility to help deter more people from starting smoking and reduce the number of deaths.

“Most regular smokers start before they are 18, but this law will help discourage children from buying packs and starting this deadly habit.

“This is a victory for campaigners for better health and takes us another step closer to ‘de-normalising’ smoking.”

Standardised packaging

There are nearly ten million adult smokers in the UK, around one-fifth of the adult population. Smoking causes around 100,000 deaths every year, with an estimated 22,000 of those deaths attributed to cardiovascular conditions1.

Parliament recently voted to introduce standardised tobacco packaging. The new legislation will come into force in May 2016 and will see tobacco products stripped of their colourful packaging.

In 2009, MPs passed a ban on cigarette vending machines and displaying cigarettes at point of sale.

The UK Government announced in 2011 that the ban on tobacco displays in shops and supermarkets would go ahead.