Tough alternatives to fag vending machine ban

By John Harrington

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Cigarette vending machines, Tobacco, Nicotine

Tough alternatives to fag vending machine ban
Tough measures to stop sales to children are proposed as an alternative to an outright ban on cigarette vending machines. This weekend the Government...

Tough measures to stop sales to children are proposed as an alternative to an outright ban on cigarette vending machines.

This weekend the Government released its long-await consultation proposing action against vending machines, as well as forcing cigarettes to be sold "under the counter"​ and other measures.

It gives three options on machines: no change, a ban, or making it difficult for children to use them.

The consultation points to three measures used in other countries:

1. Electronic age verification. Tobacco firms provide an electronic ID card, needed to use machines, after proof of age has been given.

2. ID coin mechanism. Customers need a special "coin"​ token from a member of staff to use the machine.

3. Infra-red remote control. Customers must ask a staff member to switch on the machine via remote control.

However, the consultation says such measures are "not necessarily effective"​ as they are often not installed or maintained properly.

But Federation of Licensed Victuallers Associations chief executive Tony Payne said there is little problem of sales to children when machines are located by the bar, which the majority of them are.

"For staff to have to mess about with turning machines on or providing tokens on a busy Saturday night seems a bit over the top."

The consultation says vending machines are a "significant source of cigarettes or young people", with 17% of 11-15 year-olds buying them from machines.

The consultation ends on 8 September.

Other proposals

• Banning branding and logos from tobacco packaging• Having a minimum pack-size of 20• Restricting the display of tobacco products, which may include putting cigarettes under the counter• Banning the advertising of paraphernalia such as cigarette papers

The consultation can be found at here​.

Related topics: Health & safety

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