End of tobacco displays is a welcome sign

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THE end of tobacco displays in all large shops in England has been welcomed by a regional anti-smoking organisation.

New laws on point of sale legislation, which require stores with a relevant floor space of more than 280 square metres that sell cigarettes and cigars to cover tobacco displays and hide from view the wide selection of colourful brands currently on the market, came into force this Friday.

Director of North East group FRESH, Ailsa Rutter, said: “In our region, 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.”

The new displays must not exceed 1.5 square metres and should only be seen when staff are serving customers or carrying out other day-to-day tasks such as stock taking. Smaller shops will have to comply with the legislation from April 2015.

In addition, the Government will soon launch a three-month public consultation on whether the UK should adopt plain and standardised packaging for all tobacco products.