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Ban on sale of tobacco from vending machines in Wales, 18/10/11 [W]

A Welsh Government ban on the sale of tobacco from vendin A Welsh Government ban on the sale of tobacco from vending machines in Wales has been approved and will come into force on 1 February 2012.

The motion to approve the Protection from Tobacco (Sales from Vending Machines) (Wales) Regulations 2011 was introduced in Plenary by Lesley Griffiths AM, The Minster for Health and Social Services, and was passed by the National Assembly on 18 October 11. The regulations will be made under section 3A of the Children and Young Persons (Protection from Tobacco) Act 1991.

The intention of the regulations is to protect children and young people by restricting access to tobacco. As most adults who smoke begin in adolescence, the intention is also to reduce smoking in adults over time. The Minister for Health and Social Services also explained:

“Although vending machines account for only 1 per cent of the UK market in tobacco sales, it appears that a disproportionate number of young people under the age of 18—that is, under the minimum legal age for the sale of tobacco—purchase their cigarettes from vending machines. Ten per cent of regular smokers aged 11 to 15 report that cigarette vending machines are their usual source of tobacco.”

Enforcement of the ban will become the responsibility of Local Authorities.

You can read the Welsh Government news item on the cigarette vending machine ban here. The full text of the plenary discussion on the motion is available on the National Assembly for Wales website.