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Quit Vic welcomes UK ban on tobacco displays in shops, urging Victoria to follow

Quit has called on the Victorian Government to ban display of cigarettes and tobacco in shops within a year, prompted by news today that such displays will be banned in England.

Executive Director of Quit, Ms Fiona Sharkie, said removing cigarettes from sight in shops was one of the most important actions a Government can take to prevent young people from starting to smoke, and to prevent smokers who have quit from relapsing.

"At the moment in Victoria, cigarettes take up the best real estate in most shops that sell them. You can't walk into these shops without immediately facing a powerwall of tobacco advertising."

"By removing cigarettes from sight, we can finally put a stop to the tobacco industry using shop displays as prime advertising space to promote their deadly products to young people."

Ms Sharkie said the news from England followed action from the New South Wales Government, who earlier his year included a complete and comprehensive ban on the display of cigarettes within 1 year as part of a package of tobacco reforms.

"We would strongly urge the Victorian Government, who is expected to announce their 5-year tobacco strategy prior to Christmas, to adopt a full ban on display of cigarettes within a year, leaving no room for the tobacco industry to undermine and exploit partial restrictions."

"If the Government's main aim is to prevent young people starting to smoke, a partial ban as favoured by tobacco industry, simply will not achieve this result."

Ms Sharkie said the Victorian public would be well and truly behind a move to ban cigarette displays as part of strategy to protect kids from smoking.

"In September over 3000 Victorians sent an e-submission to the Victorian Government showing their support for initiatives to reduce the number of young people smoking, including a complete ban on tobacco displays in all stores within one year."

"Getting cigarettes completely out of sight in shops helps dismantle the idea that cigarette smoking is normal behaviour, and will reduce the rate of young people taking up smoking."

"Allowing the tobacco industry to display cigarette packs in shops in any shape or form, alongside everyday items like milk and bread, is basically an endorsement of tobacco promotion," said Ms Sharkie.

ends

Edwina Pearse,
Media Manager
ph: (03) 9635 5400
mob: 0417 303 811
email:
Edwina.Pearse@cancervic.org.au

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