Pubs likely to ditch fag machines

By Ewan Turney

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Cigarette vending machines Vending machine Cigarette machine Vending machines

Vending machines: facing tough restrictions
Vending machines: facing tough restrictions
Three-quarters of licensees would rather remove their cigarette vending machines than abide by strict new rules. That is according to a new survey...

Three-quarters of licensees would rather remove their cigarette vending machines than abide by strict new rules.

That is according to a new survey by the British Heart Foundation, which is leading calls for a total ban on machines.

The Health Bill, which is due to be debated on Monday, would require bar staff to check ID before operating the vending machine by remote control. Staff could then be held responsible for sales to underage customers.

But, nearly two-thirds (63%) of 300 pub licensees surveyed, said this would be impossible during busy times.

More than two-thirds (68%) said the proposals would place a significant extra burden on their business.

Three quarters (75%) said they would rather remove cigarette vending machines than risk prosecution for underage sales.

The survey also said that 82% of licensees said their revenue from cigarette vending machines was "unimportant" with 46% earning less than 46% from their machine each year.

Nearly two thirds (63%) of landlords said getting rid of vending machines would have no impact on their business.

"The Government's proposals are unworkable and unrealistic," said BHF chief executive Peter Hollins.

"The message from the pub industry is loud and clear — they can't make these proposals work and the loose change they make from these machines isn't worth the hassle of keeping them.

"The only people with a real interest in vending machines are the tobacco industry.

"Every year, young people start a lifetime's addiction to cigarettes by buying them from a vending machine. The Government needs to be braver and put the interests of children ahead of a commercial lobby."

However, pro-choice lobbyist Bob Feal-Martinez of the Carpenters Arms in Swindon said a big pub coud still take £100 a week from vending machines.

"I could see why some may do away with machines if the cost outweighed the benefit.

"But the reality is machines now are sited in clear view of staff and I debate whether they are a major source for young people.

"If you do away with a machine but still have smokers, you may lose them to another pub."

Do you agree with the British Heart Foundation's view or results of their survey? Let us know by hitting Post a comment​ below.

Related topics Health & safety

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