Queen’s Speech response: Clarity still needed on legislative measures to protect children from tobacco



Wednesday 03 December 2008
Responding to the Queen’s speech today, ASH welcomed the promise of legislation to improve public health but expressed disappointment that the detail of the measures to protect children by tackling smoking have not yet been made clear. Overall ASH is optimistic that measures to further curb tobacco marketing will be included in the new health bill and that the government will resist pressures from business to weaken or stop the implementation of these policies.

ASH Director, Deborah Arnott said:

“We are pleased that the Government has announced that it will be bringing forward measures to improve public health but disappointed that it is unclear what exactly this will mean. A ban on the sale of tobacco from vending machines and the removal of tobacco products from public view in shops will lead to a significant decline in the number of young smokers taking up the habit. The public support the toughest possible measures to protect children from a life-long addiction to tobacco.

“There’s no time to waste. The government must make clear its intentions and publicise these as soon as possible. Every day of delay results in yet more children being lured into a habit that will ruin their health and shorten their lives. “

The DH consultation on the future of tobacco control received overwhelming backing for strong legislation from nearly 100,000 respondents, including many health professionals and most of Britain’s leading public health and welfare organisations.