Sunderland supermarkets must take down cigarette displays soon

Cigarettes seized in raid at Flagstaff Gardens, South Shore

Cigarettes seized in raid at Flagstaff Gardens, South Shore

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THE Government is reminding Sunderland’s supermarket retailers to remove tobacco displays within the next 100 days.

The Department of Health said the ban, which will come into force on April 6, would protect young people who were often the target of tobacco promotion.

Smaller shops do not have to change their displays until 2015.

Anti-smoking campaigners say the ban is an important step.

Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are also moving towards similar bans.

From April 6, Wearside customers will still be able to buy cigarettes in the normal way, but the ban – which was announced in 2008 – will mean cigarettes will have to be kept under the counter.

The chief medical officer for England, Prof Dame Sally Davies, said: “Ending tobacco displays in shops will protect young people from unsolicited promotions, helping them to resist the temptation to start smoking.

“It will also help and support adults who are trying to quit.”

Smoking killed more than 80,000 people in England every year, the chief medical officer said.

Anti-smoking campaigners have argued that displaying cigarettes near to things like chocolate and crisps makes smoking seem like an everyday part of life.