8 March 2011
Shopkeepers could be hit with a smoking display ban this week as ministers take action on No Smoking Day (Wednesday March 9th).
Health secretary Andrew Lansley will bring together several retail bodies on the ninth to discuss a potential ban on display advertising - a move that many in the tobacco industry are against.
The British Retail Consortium, the National Federation of Retail Newsagents and the Association of Convenience Stores will all take part in the round-table discussion.
Critics claims that the health implications following a tobacco display ban could be severe as young people will begin to view smoking as more illicit and intriguing.
The move is also expected to cost small retailers £70 million a year - at a time when the UK's economic recovery already appears to be faltering.
In 2008, former health secretary Alan Johnson called for a tobacco display advertising ban - a move that was criticised by Liberal Democrat shadow health secretary Norman Lamb, who described the initiative as "the nanny state going too far".
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