Cigarette display ban date announced
8 February 2013
BMA Scotland has welcomed an announcement that a ban on cigarette displays and vending machines will be brought in by the end of April.
Implementation of the measure — which was part of the 2010 Tobacco and Primary Medical Services (Scotland) Act — was held up by legal challenges by the tobacco industry.
The ban on open displays of tobacco products in large shops and sales from self-service tobacco vending machines will be introduced on April 29, and will come into force for smaller retailers on April 6, 2015.
BMA Scottish council deputy chair Charles Saunders, a public health consultant, said: ‘BMA Scotland welcomes the announcement, which will allow for Scotland to finally move forward in its bid to improve public health and reduce smoking rates.
‘As doctors we see first-hand the devastating effects of tobacco addiction and therefore we support moves to minimise the number of people taking up this deadly habit.
‘The display of tobacco products at the point of sale is just another form of advertising that reinforces and promotes smoking. Vending machines also allow for children to have unrestricted access to cigarettes.’
Catch them early
Announcing the dates, Scottish public health minister Michael Matheson said: ‘Evidence shows that these bans will help prevent young people from taking up smoking.
'That is why we believe this is the right approach for Scotland and I am delighted we are now in a position to implement these bans, which is a key step in maintaining Scotland’s position as a world leader in tobacco control.’
A similar ban on display of tobacco at point of sale in larger shops is already in force elsewhere in the UK.
Meanwhile, a coalition of charities and other groups is calling on the Scottish government to take tough action on tobacco control.
The group, which includes BMA Scotland, SH Scotland, the British Heart Foundation Scotland, and the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, wants measures including plain packaging for tobacco products and accessories, a debate on legislation on smoking in cars, and requiring the tobacco industry to report on their promotional activities.