Smoke gets in your eyes

August 16, 2010, 10:16 PM GMT+0

There is strong support among the British public for proposals designed to protect children from tobacco, although perhaps unsurprisingly there are lower levels of support from those who smoke, according to recent research on behalf of Cancer Research UK.

73% of the British public would support an initiative to put tobacco products out of sight in shops, with 43% proclaiming ‘strong support’ for such a measure. Only 19% oppose the idea, although smokers are fairly evenly split over the issue, with 46% in support of the proposal compared to 47% against.

There are similarly high levels of support among the general public for the scrapping of cigarette vending machines in the UK. 77% support this measure and only 16% are against it (only five percent strongly oppose the idea). And smokers were more amenable to this proposal than they were to the changing of shop displays, with 52% of smokers prepared to agree with the initiative, compared to 40% who would not.

Interestingly, our survey found that 18% of the UK population smoke. Eight percent intend to quit compared to ten percent who smoke with no plans to quit. The rest of the public, 82%, do not smoke, although a sizeable 34% used to, but do not anymore.

The survey findings suggest that while the majority would support increased regulation on tobacco for public health reasons, there is still a hardcore group of smokers that smokes with no intention to give up, and of which many appear unhappy to accept legislation changes affecting the habit.

Survey details and full results