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Press Releases (220)

Fresh has welcomed the effect of tobacco laws which carried widespread public support - but has urged the government to go further in its drive to go 'smoke-free' in England by 2030.

 

 

Responding to a government consultation on a review of particular regulations, Fresh has outlined to the Department of Health and Social Care that current laws around tobacco such as smoking in cars carrying children and putting tobacco displays out of sight have helped smoking rates in the North East and youth smoking rates reach an all-time low.

 

The removal of tobacco displays in shops, prohibiting smoking in cars carrying children and restrictions on the sale of nicotine-inhaling products such as vapourisers to under 18s all work together to help smokers to quit, discourage young people from starting to smoke and protect people from harm.

 

The laws play a key role in the North East vision of making smoking history, alongside other actions such as quitting campaigns and providing support to smokers who want to quit.

 

Retailers within County Durham, Northumberland and Tyne and Wear have also outlined their support for the laws with over half (55%) supporting the regulations on the removal of tobacco displays and 9 out of 10 supporting laws restricting the sale of nicotine-inhaling products to children.

 

But Fresh say that more action is needed if the government is to achieve its ambition to go 'smoke-free' in England in 2030 and that nearly half of the North East public think the government could be doing more to limit smoking with only 7 per cent thinking the government has gone too far.

 

Fresh outlined key measures the government could bring in to accelerate the decline in smoking rates such as introducing a "polluter pays" charge on the tobacco industry to fund measures to encourage smokers to quit and discourage youth uptake, increasing the age of sale for tobacco products from 18 to 21 and introduce retail licensing to support enforcement.

 

Ailsa Rutter OBE, Director of Fresh, said: "We know from talking to smokers that thanks to the law, the car is now seen by most as the last place they would dream of smoking and there is high awareness that it is illegal.

 

"Similarly with tobacco displays, shops have adapted and our children no longer see cigarettes and people who have quit no longer face the temptation when they walk into a shop."

 

She added: "Here in England we have some of the most effective tobacco laws in the world – they are simple to implement, comply with and enforce and most importantly of all, they work.  The fact that smoking rates are continuing to decline is testament to this.  But we can't be complacent.

 

"To continue making a difference, the government also needs to consider going further and bring in new legislation, including 'making the polluter pay' by placing a charge on the tobacco industry to address the damage that their products inflict on society.  We would also like the age of sale for tobacco to be raised to 21 given how harmful tobacco is, and for a licensing system to be introduced to support enforcement around illicit tobacco.

 

"There is significant public support for all of these measures and the government needs to be both bold but also reassured that these are the next logical steps to take."

 

North East retailer John McClurey said: "The introduction of these laws has been generally viewed as a positive step towards the reduction of smoking.  Since the tobacco displays have been covered I have had former smokers commenting to me that it removes a temptation and helps them to stay quit.

 

 

 

 

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