For Immediate Release

ASH Wales, Wales’s leading public health charity campaigning against the harm caused by tobacco, has welcomed news that the Westminster government is considering introducing plain packaging for cigarettes but warns that it must press ahead with a ban on behind the counter displays of tobacco as soon as possible.

UK Health Secretary Andrew Lansley made the comments ahead of the publication of the Government’s White Paper on Public Health.

Tanya Buchanan, Chief Executive of ASH Wales, commented: “We welcome the news that the Government is seriously considering the case for plain packs. However, we are stilling awaiting news of the Government’s review of the ban on behind the counter sales of tobacco. Recent research from the UK Centre for Tobacco Control Studies has shown that a ban on behind the counter displays of tobacco will have little impact on retailers and is effective in reducing the attraction of smoking amongst teenagers. If the Government is serious about reducing the attractiveness of smoking to young people then it is imperative that they press ahead with the display ban without delay.”