Smokers Face Another Blow As Cigarette Promotion Is Curbed

09/03/2011 15:36 | Updated 22 May 2015

cigarette-packet-plain-wrapperPlain-packet cigarettes could be on the cards. Photo: Getty

It's National No Smoking Day - a big day for many smokers who are trying to quit as well as government ministers who have just announced new anti-smoking plans.

In an attempt to reduce the number of people smoking in this country - particularly young people - the Department of Health in England has unveiled a ban on the display of cigarettes and other tobacco products in shops. The government has also announced it will look into the idea of plain packaging for cigarettes, stating it has an 'open mind' on the subject.

The new measures - which may take a few years to be phased in - have been under discussion for some time, with several other countries having already put similar bans into place, including Ireland, Canada and Finland.

The idea is to make buying cigarettes seem less appealing, with campaigners claiming the new rules on selling cigarettes could stop some young people taking up smoking.

The pro-smoking lobby is less than impressed, however, saying there's no evidence any ban on displaying cigarettes in shops would have an effect on the number of smokers. And if anything, the selling of cigarettes in plain packaging could encourage counterfeiting, as plain packaging would be much easier to forge than branded boxes, claims the Tobacco Retailers Alliance.

The government has announced the measures as part of its tobacco control strategy. But will they be effective? Will the moves, for instance, persuade any of the one in seven 15-year-olds in this country who claim to be regular smokers to quit?

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