Health expert backs cig machine ban

A LANCASHIRE health expert has voiced support for the recent banning of cigarette vending machines.

Frank Atherton, Cluster Director of Public Health Lancashire, said: “The success of the campaign to ban cigarette vending machines is a testament to the weight of public support it has received in the region.

“Everyone who has written, spoken and campaigned in favour of the tobacco control measures in the Health Bill have helped close the loopholes in the Tobacco Advertising and Promotion Act 2002.”

Last year, more than 60,000 people living in the North West responded to the Department of Health’s consultation on the future of tobacco control, showing support for new measures to protect the region’s children and young people from the harmful effects of tobacco.

From 1 October, the sale of tobacco from vending machines is prohibited across England.

The ban has been introduced to prevent under-age sales to children and to support adults who are trying to quit.

It is estimated that 35 million cigarettes are sold illegally through vending machines to children every year.

From October 1 anyone caught selling cigarettes from a vending machine may be fined up to £2,500.

Any person found guilty of displaying cigarette adverts on a vending machine could face imprisonment for up to six months, or a fine of £5,000, or both.