Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Scotland moves forward on tobacco display ban

It was a couple of months ago on the 24th March that I wrote an angry piece about a proposal to ban open display of tobacco products in shops. I made clear at the time that I've always been a non smoker but that the suggestion that cigarettes should be kept under the counter was totally wrong. The reason put forward for this draconian measure was to stop young people being tempted to take up smoking - what a load of rubbish that is.

Putting it simply there are two options here. Either manufacture and sale of tobacco products should stop or if they are to remain legal then the retailers should make the decision as to where they go in their shops. Above a minimum age it is quite legal to buy them so why should shops be pressured into the expense and no little inconvenience of hiding them from view? I had thought that commonsense might prevail but it now looks as if the display ban is going to be implemented in Scotland. It strikes me that our decision makers haven't the first idea how shops work in this country, the small newsagent/tobacconist will be particularly affected where business depends on a large number of very small sales and fumbling under the counter to find the right fags for the customer will be a time consuming operation.

Exceesive alcohol drunk by young people can also be adictive and with the capacity to damage one's health ultimately. Perhaps the Scottish Parliament should tell Tesco and the rest to make sure that no alcoholic products are in view in their stores. The other point to stress is that it is extremely dubious that such a ban on tobacco will have much of a desired effect, it would be much better to continue with educating people not to get hooked on the dreaded weed.

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