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Ban on shop tobacco displays proposed

Retailers will be barred from displaying cigarettes and other tobacco products in stores under new legislation that is planned to come into force shortly.

A ban on all in-store advertising of tobacco products has been proposed after Minister for Health and Children Mary Harney announced plans to extend the Public Health (Tobacco) Acts 2002 and 2004 this morning. Tighter controls on the location and operation of cigarette machines and the introduction of a retail register are also planned under the new legislation. The decision to add further provisions to the act is the latest in a line of regulations that have come into force aimed at reducing the number of smokers in Ireland. A ban on the sale of 10-packs of cigarettes came into force at the end of May in an attempt to stop young children from experimenting with tobacco. Moreover, Ireland's 2004 workplace smoking ban has influenced the creation of similar laws in other countries. According to the Office of Tobacco Control, the level of compliance with the ban stood at 95 per cent last year, with 2 per cent of restaurants and 5 per cent of hotels non-compliant with the ban. It's estimated that just under 25 per cent of Irish people smoke, although that figure is believed to have fallen since the introduction of the smoking ban. A recent Cancer Research survey found that 22 per cent of survey respondents said they had reduced the amount they smoked at home since the legislation was brought in. Six per cent reported smoking more, and 71 per cent said their behaviour had not changed.

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