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  • Health & Medicine

Lords vote in favour of protecting children from tobacco

by Jon Spiers | Analysis

7 May 2009

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Help us keep tobacco out of sight and out of mind

Help us keep tobacco out of sight and out of mind

Last night, following a lively debate, the House of Lords voted overwhelmingly in favour of putting tobacco out of sight in shops and supermarkets.

The bill will now go to the House of Commons, where it will be debated further and hopefully become law.

Cancer Research UK and our partners in the Smokefree Action coalition have been working with Peers from all parties to convince them to help make smoking history for our children.

The Health Bill being debated yesterday includes Government proposals to end the display of tobacco at the point of sale and to make it harder for children to buy cigarettes from vending machines.

We support these ideas but want to see them go further.

Our Out of Sight, Out of Mind campaign calls on politicians to put tobacco out of sight, completely remove cigarette vending machines and bring in plain packaging for cigarettes. Tobacco kills one in two long-term users and eight out of ten smokers start before they turn 19.

If we can stop children from ever becoming smokers in the first place, we can prevent countless cancers, not to mention the many other diseases caused by tobacco.

Research by Professor Gerard Hastings, Director of Cancer Research UK’s Centre for Tobacco Control Research at the University of Stirling, has shown that tobacco displays are linked to youth smoking and that removing tobacco from the point of sale could help reduce the number of young people who try cigarettes.

The House of Lords’ support for putting tobacco out of sight is crucial, and we look forward to seeing this proposal being discussed in the House of Commons in the next few months. A number of Peers had put forward an amendment which would have totally removed vending machines, but they didn’t win their vote.

We will be working with MPs to tighten up the legislation and make sure children are properly protected.

You can be involved in our campaign – head over to CancerCampaigns to find out more.