Efforts to cut the number of smoking related deaths could see the end of tobacco products being displayed in shops across Northern Ireland, the Belfast Telegraph can reveal today.
The Health Minister, Michael McGimpsey, is planning to bring a proposal before the Assembly which — if approved — will see tobacco products stored under the counter in shops across Northern Ireland.
The move has been met with support from leading healthcare and cancer support charities who have called for MLAs to give their backing to the potentially life saving proposal.
Michael McGimpsey has confirmed that he intends to bring the matter before the Assembly in the coming months.
Douglas King, head of fundraising and communications with Action Cancer, welcomed the plan.
He said: “The minister’s move will contribute to saving lives from cancer in Northern Ireland. Action Cancer works on many fronts to reduce the risk of death or serious illness from smoking-related causes.
“We welcome any move that reduces the possibility of any young person or adult increasing their risk of cancer from smoking.”
Every year, a total of 2,700 deaths in Northern Ireland are caused by smoking, while research has found that a 50-year-old man who smokes 20 cigarettes a day increases threefold his risk of suffering a heart attack.