Cigarette firms attack ‘unwanted’ tobacco displays ban

Cigarette firms yesterday insisted that a proposed ban on tobacco displays was “unnecessary, unjustified and unwanted”.
Christopher Ogden, the chief executive of the Tobacco Manufacturers’ Association, also claimed the display ban – put forward by the Scottish Government – could be exploited by organised crime.
The tobacco boss hit out after the majority of MSPs on Holyrood’s health and sport committee gave their backing to the move.
But Mr Ogden said: “The last thing we need in the midst of recession is further regulation that will facilitate illicit trade in tobacco products and impact adversely on thousands of small retailers and the communities they serve.”
The government’s Tobacco and Primary Medical Services (Scotland) Bill aims to curb the sale of cigarettes and tobacco to youngsters. The legislation would ban stores from displaying cigarettes and other tobacco products, outlaw cigarette vending machines and introduce a registration system for tobacco retailers.
MSPs on the committee have also urged the Scottish Government to expand the proposals to make it a criminal act for adults to buy tobacco for under-age youngsters.
Committee convener Christine Grahame said: “The majority of our committee believes that cigarettes at the point of sale represent an advertisement and a ban on these displays would have a particularly positive effect in deterring teenagers. Most members also believe that cigarette vending machines should be banned.”
However, Mr Ogden claimed MSPs had failed to consider “compelling evidence” provided by manufacturers and retailers that the “ban will not have its intended effect”.
He added: “The ban is unnecessary, unjustified and unwanted by many stakeholders.”

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