Public demand more Government action to curb smoking
The government will launch a public consultation next month on its plans to tighten legislation on the sale of tobacco – but new research reveals that people, including smokers, are already demanding more action.
A poll carried out for ASH revealed that:
• 76% of GB adults support a ban on smoking in cars carrying children under the age of 18,
• 85% of adults in England and Wales want retailers who are convicted of selling tobacco illegally to children to be banned from selling tobacco products, and
• 88% of adults in Scotland agree that businesses found to have sold or supplied tobacco to under-18s more than once should have their right to sell tobacco suspended.
Results of the research will be presented at a tobacco control conference attended by health professionals in Cardiff today. 
Deborah Arnott, Director of ASH said:
“It’s what people want; health campaigners need to work hard to keep up with the demand for further reform.”
Smoking remains the biggest cause of preventable deaths in the UK – five times greater than traffic accidents, poisoning, over-dose, alcoholic liver disease, HIV, accidental death, murder and manslaughter combined 
The government is considering action on the display of tobacco products in shops, requiring retailers to sell them from under the counter, and a possible ban on cigarette vending machines.
The ASH research shows a majority of people are in favour of these policies but for the following measures more than three out of four want more action:
• Easier access to quitting medications, such as nicotine gum and patches (82%);
• Licences for tobacco vendors, which should be removed if they are caught selling to underage smokers; (87%)
• A crackdown on tobacco smuggling (75%).
Report author Martin Dockrell said:
“The law on smokefree public places has been very popular. Our research shows that almost two out of three (63%) people strongly support it compared to only one in 12 who are strongly opposed. People understand that it is not about smokers: 76% say smokefree legislation has been good for their health and overall people support a wide range of further tobacco control measures.”
Notes and Links:
 A Call To Action: Successful Tobacco Control for the Future. Conference organised by ASH Wales. www.smoking-conference-wales.org.uk Tel 029 2064 1101
Key findings of the survey are available at: here (pdf)
All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 3,329 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 20th – 25th February 2008. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18 ). The study was a collaboration between ASH, ASH Scotland and ASH Wales.