Cigarette Vending Ends

19 February 2012

Cigarette Butt

Health Minister, Edwin Poots has announced regulations to ban the sale of tobacco products from vending machines in Northern Ireland from 1 March 2012.

"The main aim in introducing the legislation is to prevent children and young people from being able to access tobacco from a largely unsupervised source. These regulations will also bring Northern Ireland into line with the rest of the UK."

The regulations will be enforced from 1 March. England commenced its ban on sales of tobacco from vending machines from 1 October 2011. Regulations have also been made in Wales to commence from 1 February 2012 and Scotland intends to follow suit shortly.

The Minister continued: "I recognise that banning the sale of tobacco from vending machines will not, in itself, solve the problem of children's smoking. However it will remove an easily accessible source of tobacco from underage children, as well as support the thousands of smokers who try to quit each year. This links in with the two main objectives in my Department's new tobacco control strategy which is due to be published later this month.

"These regulations represent another important milestone in our pursuance of the long-term goal - that of a tobacco-free society in Northern Ireland."

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