Thursday, 10 March 2011

Scottish tobacco display ban deferred

In recognition of pending legal action the Scottish Government has announced a 6-month delay to the start of the  tobacco display ban, which was meant to be implemented in supermarkets from 1 October this year.  Small shops will have until 2015, giving them 'extra time to prepare', much to the annoyance of health groups.

The subject has provoked furore in the press down south, because the legislation was opposed by the current coalition leaders when in opposition. This leaves the clear conclusion that Health Department officials and/or the EU and WHO carries much more clout than voters.

Added to the mix down south is the new policy of mandatory plain packaging for tobacco, which the government declares it has an 'open mind' on. But this is less an issue than how liberal politicians who opposed an illiberal policy when in opposition came to support it once in power. The change has caused concern, for good reason.

The legal action by Imperial Tobacco that has delayed the tobacco display ban will be heard later in the year.

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