Diane Abbott welcomes implementation of Labour's ban on shops displaying tobacco

04 Apr 2012
Diane Abbott MP, Labour’s Shadow Public Health Minister, welcomes the implementation of Labour's ban on shops displaying tobacco:

“I welcome the fact that after expressing doubts in opposition, and a period of dithering in government, the Tories have finally seen the error of their ways and are now implementing Labour's proposals.

‘Reducing smoking prevalence, particularly amongst the most disadvantaged in society, is the most effective means of improving public health and reducing inequality. Smokers start as children and continue as addicts: two thirds of smokers start before the age of 16 and the vast majority while still teenagers.

‘Labour is clear that the next front in this fight should be packaging. I want to assure Andrew Lansley today that he will have Labour’s support if he wants to make early progress on this front.’

She urged the government to build on the successes of the last Labour government:

‘The last British Labour government showed leadership in bringing about real change on tobacco control. We introduced the smoking ban in pubs and enclosed spaces, ended sports sponsorship and billboard advertising, raised the legal age of purchasing cigarettes and put graphic warnings on cigarette packs. But doctors are right to remind us that smoking it is still the single biggest preventable cause of early death and illness and claims over 80,000 lives a year.’


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