27/02/2009

Ban Tobacco Vending Machines, Says Charity

On foot of news that the Scottish government has decided to introduce both a register of those selling tobacco and to ban vending machines selling tobacco products, a local charity is seeking similar measures in Northern Ireland.

The NI Chest Heart & Stroke has called on the Stormont Executive to completely ban the sale of cigarettes from vending machines. The Belfast-based charity's Chief Executive, Andrew Dougal (pictured) said that 17% of children report that they buy cigarettes from vending machines.
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"This shows that vending machines are easy means of children getting around the 18-year-old rule which most shopkeepers respect," he said.

Calling for the Northern Ireland Assembly to follow the Scottish Assembly, he also appealed for the introduction of a similar system of registration for those selling tobacco.

"Tobacco is an addictive drug which kills one in two of its users.

"It is only right and proper that those selling such products seek a licence to do so and comply with the necessary safeguards," he insisted.

(BMcC/JM)

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