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Tobacco display changes welcomed – Local – Hartlepool Mail

Tobacco display changes welcomed

Published on Tuesday 3 April 2012 12:00

A CAMPAIGN group has welcomed moves to stop retailers selling tobacco
from eye-catching displays.

New laws on point of sale legislation come into force on Friday that will
require all large shops to cover tobacco displays and hide from view the
wide selection of colourful tobacco brands currently on the market.

Ailsa Rutter, director of North East campaign group FRESH, said: “If you
walk into any shop across the country currently, you can’t help but
notice the highly colourful tobacco displays designed to catch the eye
and attract customers. These are often directly behind sweet counters,
catching the eye of children.

“In the North-East the average age that people start smoking is just 15,
but some start as young as nine years old. Smoking is a childhood
addiction and that is why making cigarettes less visible to young people
is a positive move forward in reducing tobacco promotion.”

But she added: “This is a welcome step, but it will not stop the tobacco
companies from using the pack itself to lure new customers – who are
usually young people – with pastel colours, holograms and fancy designs.

“This is why Australia is introducing plain, standardised packaging on
tobacco products later this year with more noticeable health warnings to
make smoking history for more children. I’d urge as many people to
support this when our Government launches a consultation in the spring.”

The new point of sale regulations will mean that all large shops with a
relevant floor space of more than 280 square metres will be required to
cover their open tobacco displays – while other smaller shops will have
to comply with the legislation from April 2015.

The new displays must not exceed 1.5 square metres and will only be seen
when staff are serving customers or carrying out other day-to-day tasks
such as stocktaking.

Richard Ferry, of the North East Trading Standards Association, said: “We
support these efforts to make cigarettes seem less glamorous to children
and young people, to reduce the likelihood of under-age purchase

Tobacco displays were covered in shops in Ireland in 2009 and a study
funded by Cancer Research UK found that it changed young people’s
attitude to smoking without resulting in retailers losing money

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