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Monday
Sep162019

Impact of tobacco laws divides opinion

As part of Forest's submission to the consultation on the impact of tobacco control laws (2010-2016) we commissioned a poll.

The survey of 2,057 adults was conducted by Populus on 11-12 September. Here are the questions and the responses:

1. Do you think the ban on the display of tobacco in small and large shops has helped to reduce the number of children and young people smoking?

30% said, ‘Yes, I think it has’
33% said, ‘No, I don’t think it has’
37% said, ‘I don’t know if it has or has not’

2. Do you think the ban on the display of tobacco in small and large shops has encouraged and supported adult smokers to quit?

24% said, ‘Yes, I think it has’
45% said, ‘No, I don’t think it has’
31% said, ‘I don’t know if it has or has not’

3. Do you think the ban on the display of tobacco in specialist tobacconists has helped to reduce the number of children and young people smoking?

24% said, ‘Yes, I think it has’
36% said, ‘No, I don’t think it has’
40% said, ‘I don’t know if it has or has not’

4. Do you think the ban on the display of tobacco in specialist tobacconists has encouraged and supported adult smokers to quit smoking?

20% said, ‘Yes, I think it has’
45% said, ‘No, I don’t think it has’
35% said, ‘I don’t know if it has or has not’

5. In your opinion, is restricting the display of prices of tobacco products in shops an effective way to protect children and young people from taking up smoking and support those who wish to quit?

31% said, ‘Yes, I think it is effective’
39% said, ‘No, I don’t think it is effective’
30% said, ‘I don’t know if it is effective or not effective’

6. In your opinion, has the ban on smoking in cars carrying children helped prevent people from smoking in vehicles with children?

51% said, ‘Yes, I think it has’
22% said, ‘No, I don’t think it has’
27% said, ‘I don’t know if it has or has not’

You can read our press release here – Public split on effectiveness of tobacco control laws. It quotes me as follows:

“Regulations such as the display ban don’t stop children smoking. Instead they infantilise adults and drive smokers to the black market.

“Although smokers adapt to new regulations they resent being discriminated against. Tobacco is a legal product and smoking is a legitimate habit.

“Instead of targeting tobacco and smokers with further regulations, the government should incentivise smokers to switch to risk reduction products like e-cigarettes.

“Smokers need to feel empowered to quit or switch, not denormalised or coerced.”

Thanks to everyone who completed the government's online survey (from which we copied most of the questions for our own poll word for word).

The consultation closed last night.

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