Cigarettes and tobacco products will be sold from under the counter following a new ruling by the Department of Health.
Keen to build upon the success of the smoking ban in public places, the latest recommendations will see packets of cigarettes removed from their prominent position in supermarkets and corner shops, and either covered up or moved to a back room or to an under-the-counter position.
Although opponents say small business who rely on the sales of cigarettes to make decent profits will be hit, a source from the government’s Business Department told The Telegraph: ‘We know that business has been resisting this but there are times when the consumer’s interest must outweigh that. We believe the public are with us on this move. We have asked smokers’ views on this too. There is no doubt that the vast majority want to quit.’
During a long period of consultation, the Department of Health discovered that almost a third of smokers thought they’d be more likely to give up their bad habit if they couldn’t see cigarettes when they were shopping.
The UK won’t be the first country to adopt the measure, New Zealand, Australia, Iceland, Thailand, Canada and Norway have all already moved tobacco products from point of sale positions, or are about to.
Tuesday 9 December 2008