City welcomes plans to move tobacco in shops

HMS Victory and the Mary Rose Museum from the air     Picture: Shaun Roster

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PORTSMOUTH’S health director has welcomed the move to ban the display of tobacco in shops.

The Department of Health is set to force shops to keep cigarettes and other products under the counter from next year.

A consultation will also be launched on whether manufacturers should be forced to put cigarettes in plain packets.

Dr Paul Edmondson-Jones, the director of public health for NHS Portsmouth and Portsmouth City Council, said: ‘This is exactly what we’ve been campaigning for. It will help save lives – and we particularly welcome the impact this will have in tempting fewer young people to smoke.’

In May 2009, Dr Edmondson-Jones wrote to 18 MPs across the area urging them to support the ban of point of sale tobacco displays – and introduce plain packaging for all tobacco products.

He said: ‘Tobacco use remains the number one cause of preventable death and ill health in our city. These displays not only promote brands to potential new young smokers but also tempt people, perhaps ex-smokers, who did not intend to buy.’