Sunday, 14 November 2010

Health chiefs plead retention of tobacco display ban

Once again, health experts have taken to the broadsheets (i.e. written to The Guardian) to plead their case that abandoning the tobacco display ban in England will put children's health at risk. Like Peter Kellner in his Open Letter to Vince Cable in the New Statesman a couple of weeks ago, they suggest that the government must choose between 'the tobacco lobby' and 'the British people'. In the Politics column of The Guardian, a Lib Dem councillor suggests rather dismissively that shopkeepers have naively 'fallen for the industry spin'.

Personally I feel that shopkeepers are better equipped to understand the tobacco trade than the authors of the Guardian letter, and the dichotomy of tobacco lobby versus British people is a false one.

The Grocer also speculates: Tobacco display ban to be delayed. A delay would be good, but evidence that the display ban would fundamentally affect youth smoking is not substantiated.

An announcement from the Health Secretary is awaited.

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