The new tobacco strategy

March 09, 2012, 11:16 AM GMT+0

60% say ban smoking in cars with passengers, 46% oppose banning smoking in public parks

The majority of panellists say they support new tobacco legislation, including plain cigarette packaging and the banning of smoking in cars with passengers, our poll shows. Respondents feel less stringent however when it comes to smoking in public parks.

  • 60% support banning people from smoking in cars if they are carrying passengers, 32% are opposed to this
  • 59% support banning shops from displaying cigarettes behind the counter and making stores keep them out of sight, while 29% are opposed
  • 57% would support making tobacco manufacturers sell all cigarettes in blank packaging without any bright colours or logos, but around a quarter (26%) disagree
  • 52% oppose banning people from smoking in all private cars, 37% support this rule
  • 46% oppose this banning people from smoking in public parks, while 44% support it

Reducing 'usage and exposure'

A new tobacco strategy implemented by the Department of Health has been launched with the aim of preventing people from starting to smoke, reducing the number of smokers and protecting people from passive smoking.

The changes follow a European Commision 'consultation' in 2010 discussing further steps to reduce tobacco usage and exposure, which was found to be the single largest cause of avoidable death in the European Union, accounting for around 650,000 premature deaths every year.

The strategy has induced various changes around the United Kingdom, including plain packaging for cigarettes, a reduction in large hoardings advertising cigarettes in supermarkets, banning cigarette vending machines, and smoking in cars when holding passengers, particularly children with parents and older relatives who engage in smoking while driving.

Retailers at risk

Retailers forced to sell plain package cigarettes say new legislation will risk business closures, claiming that standardised packaging would make products easier to counterfeit. Chairman of the European Confederation of Tobacco Retailers, Giovanni Risso has said: "We fully support and want to contribute to the EU's objectives of reducing smoking and eliminating youth smoking, but it's hard to see how these measures could do that.

"All they will do is put us out of work and hand our businesses over to criminals."

See the full details and results here (pages 8-9)