Thursday, 9 February 2012
More on Wales: vending machines ban goes live
I'm a week late on this but it's still worth including because of the debate between Simon Clark and the ASH Wales representative, Carole Morgan-Jones. Caught out early on by the BBC interviewer, who asks Morgan-Jones how she knows the quantities of cigarettes sold illegally through vending machines that need to be banned because they cannot be monitored, she fails to substantiate other than by saying 'studies done by the UK Centre for Tobacco Control Studies', and essentially suggesting that the policy is formulated on the basis of anonymous surveys. She then all but claims that radio controlled or other vending machines would not stop children buying tobacco because bar staff are too busy to check ID properly (this line of argument emerges at the end when time has run out). This is nonsense: anyone dealing with age-restricted goods has to carry out age verification. The only real modification that radio controlled vending machines would have required would have been ensuring age verification awareness for personnel in hotels, launderettes, cafeterias and other outlets where machines were accommodated.