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Cigarette branding ban to stub out temptation

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: December 03, 2012

Lesley Griffiths

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A NEW law which stops large shops and supermarkets from displaying tobacco comes into force today.

The ban is aimed at reducing the uptake of smoking among young people in particular, by removing the visual temptation of cigarettes on display. The law will extend to smaller shops, bulk tobacconists and specialist tobacconists in April 2015.

Health Minister Lesley Griffiths said: "Smoking remains a huge risk to public health in Wales.

"Around 20 per cent of our NHS admissions are related to smoking, at a cost of more than £1 million a day.

"Our aim is to reduce smoking levels in Wales to 16 per cent by 2020, with an ultimate vision of a smoke-free society, in which the harm from tobacco is completely eradicated.

"We know that young people can be influenced by seeing cigarettes on display, and that they can tempt adults who are trying to give up the habit.

"We see this new law as an important part of our drive to tackle the harm caused by smoking. If we can prevent young people from ever taking up smoking, we can give future generations a better chance of a healthy life."

From today, large retailers will no longer be able to have cigarettes and other tobacco products on display, except when staff are serving customers and carrying out tasks such as restocking. Tobacco price lists will also look different.

A plain A3 price list with no tobacco branding can be shown at the point of sale, with an illustrated price list available to customers on request.

Customers may be asked for proof of age before being shown the illustrated list.

The new law will be enforced by local trading standards officials, and non-compliance is a criminal offence.

Anyone found guilty could face a fine of up to £5,000 or up to two years in prison. Chair of Wales Heads of Trading Standards Ken Yorston added: "We see the removal of tobacco from retail display as being a key factor in driving down the level of underage sales of tobacco products across Wales.

"Trading Standards services will be working closely with businesses to help them satisfy the new legislation, both now for large shops and in the run up to April 2015 when the remaining sectors of the retail trade will have to comply."

Sales assistant Kelly Morris who works at Coggers Newsagents on Wind Street in Swansea said she welcomed the new law.

"I think it is a good idea," she said. "It is good because if youngsters can't see them they might not buy them.

"I don't think it will affect us too much when the law extends for smaller shops because people will still come into the shop for them anyway."

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  • Philosoraptor  |  December 05 2012, 10:08AM

    Neathboy, you just described the general market lol... not just cigarettes. The only difference is that No. 3 is not for black people, it is for absolutely everyone!

  • PJL1967  |  December 04 2012, 8:04PM

    Lunkhed, if they do away with branding altogether, as is likely, not only would it save the tobacco industry a fortune on marketing, the only way to differentiate between brands would be on price and that may very well spark a price war (offset by the monies saved on marketing..), therefore bringing prices down, which in turn may encourage more people to smoke. Of course, all this attention on cigarette branding makes smoking even more taboo and rebellious teenagers may very well find it all the more appealing!

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  • Lunkhed  |  December 04 2012, 6:29PM

    GSVale - in my Tesco no-one buys drinks, sandwiches, newspapers and lottery tickets from the tobacconist till. They use the lottery till for the lottery and the other 20 - odd tills (including the self-service) for the drinks and sandwiches. If these measures meant as little to the industry as they claim, they wouldn't be whinging about them. The cancer industry spends a fortune on marketing and they certainly don't want the branding hidden.

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  • hacker_jack  |  December 04 2012, 4:14PM

    Neathboy, sadly that is pretty much the same plan (minus point 3) for nearly all marketing campaigns. Hiding the cigarettes isn't necessary, but making sure they aren't front and centre behind every cashier in corner shops so you are starign at them while in the queue will help

  • Neathboy234  |  December 04 2012, 3:01PM

    I once watch a BBC Panorama program about smoking back in the early 90's. It was just after the Eastern Europe had escaped from under Russia's control. A man pretending to an executive from an E European cigarette company had traveled to America asking for advice on cigarette marketing. The american executive told him that in America they target 4 main groups. 1 The young. 2 The poor. 3 Black people(he told them to ignore that one as there weren't many black people in E Europe). 4 And last but not least, the just plain stupid. Ask yourself a question if you smoke!. Are you young?, are you poor?, are you black?. If you answer no to these 3 questions, i guess that makes you number 4 in the eyes of the cigarette companies.

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  • PJL1967  |  December 04 2012, 2:41PM

    I remember my psychology tutor telling me a story to explain Reverse Psychology: Apparently, when the potato was first introduced to to this country people were reluctant to eat them because they reminded them of a similar root vegetable called the mandrake which was used in witchcraft and was poisons. So, in order to get people to eat potatoes, the powers that be came up with a cunning plan. They set about planting fields of potatoes which were surrounded by guards. Eventually, even though the locals believed the potatoes may harm them, they came up with the reasoning; 'They' don't want me to have them, therefore I want them, and soon with the help of the guards conveniently disappearing from time to time more and more people were eating potatoes... Here's another example of Reverse Psychology allegedly from the campaign for plain packaging although, for some strange reason, it subconsciously makes me want to smoke... http://tinyurl.com/coygar3 Just saying!

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  • Philosoraptor  |  December 04 2012, 10:46AM

    I'll continue buying in a supermarket, to annoy those buying drinks and raising the NHS bill through obesity and high blood pressure caused by the sugar.

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  • GSVale  |  December 03 2012, 10:32PM

    This is just a joke, was in TESCO's today buying my cancer sticks, queue was getting bigger and bigger as the Woman behind the counter went through the same procedure over and over. Can I help you, 20 Bensons please Open slidding doors, get pack of fags, close sliding doors repeat lol The people buying the fags weren't complaining, but all the people buying drinks, sandwiches, newspapers and lottery tickets were having a right old windge. I'll just buy them in the garage from now on, smaller queue lol

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  • jeffrey3  |  December 03 2012, 7:10PM

    yes but whos going to pay the 6or7billion they take in taxes of the smokers if they loose this it will be you and me paying for this short fall and they do put alot of taxes by their smoking so by detering them not to means us putting our hands deeper into our pockets um jeff

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  • Neathboy234  |  December 03 2012, 5:22PM

    PJL1967 i can see that your a pistols fan, so am I. Not so sure about the young wanting to smoke that much anyone, all the youngsters i work with are more interested in looking good and going to the gym. Besides who's got £250/month for something that makes u stink, not the young thats for sure

    |   -9