Calls by the Liberal Democrats to review the impending ban of tobacco displays has been welcomed by The National Federation of Retail Newsagents (NFRN).
The national president of the NFRN, Suleman Khonat expressed his delight at the support from the Liberal Democrats of ‘proportionate and evidence based legislation’ with the Federation calling for the next Parliament to revisit the tobacco display ban legislation.
Yesterday, the Liberal Democrats backed Mike Penning, the shadow health minister for the Conservative’s call to review the decision that tobacco products within generalist retail outlets and tobacco specialist shops, should be concealed.
“With support from the Conservatives and now from the Liberal Democrats, the independent retailers we represent have been given another chance at meaningful and proper consultation on the subject,” explained Khonat.
Liberal Democrat minister, Lembit Opik, explained that he had spoken to many independent retailers in Montgomeryshire and further and felt that it was ‘quite obvious’ to them that this will simply create cost and hassle for them with ‘no health benefits’ to the public.
“As one of them said to me you don’t stop people smoking by putting cigarettes under the counter. It actually makes it more glamorous for kids because it seems more rebellious to buy them. We need a less patronising attitude towards public health,” continued Opik.
“As it is, the tobacco display ban proposals will simply serve to increase cost and inconvenience to independent retailers while doing nothing to reduce preventable disease. I am fully behind taking a second look at this second rate legislation,” he added.