Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 23 October 2014

Display ban 'helped smokers quit'

The ban on the display of tobacco products in large shops has helped some smokers quit, a survey suggests

A quarter of younger smokers who kicked the habit in the last year said that the ban on the display of tobacco products in large shops helped them to quit.

On April 6 last year supermarkets and other large shops in England were prohibited from displaying cigarette packs to the public.

And a year on, 26% of ex-smokers aged 18 to 24 said the ban spurred them to give up.

The poll of 1,000 former and 1,000 current smokers also found that the measure had helped 17% of all smokers to cut down on the amount they smoke.

Ministers introduced the move across England to help to change attitudes and social norms around smoking and to "protect" young people who are often the target of tobacco promotion.

"The younger generation is whom the ban is primarily aimed at so these findings are very encouraging," said Dr Katie Tryon, head of clinical vitality at health insurance firm PruHealth, which commissioned the poll.

"The key to preventing a future generation of smokers is to try and discourage people from starting in the first place, as the older people get, often the harder it can be to quit."

Smaller shops do not have to change their displays until 2015.

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