Press Release: ban on cigarette vending machines
Press Release that I wrote whilst covering the Press desk in September. It achieved high pickup from local media
Published on: Mar 4, 2016
Transcripts - Press Release: ban on cigarette vending machines
PRESS RELEASEDate of Issue: 29 September 2011PR 339Embargoed until 1 October 2011New ban on sale of cigarettes from vendingmachines welcomed in the east of EnglandNHS East of England has welcomed the new law, which will come into force today,making it Illegal to sell cigarettes from vending machines.Vending machines are an easy way for under-18s to buy cigarettes - especially wherethe machines are unsupervised. According to Government figures, 11% of 11-15 yearolds who regularly smoke say that they buy cigarettes from vending machines. The newlaw is intended to make it more difficult for underage smokers to access tobacco.Last year, a regional test purchase programme by the East of England TradingStandards Association revealed some alarming results. Underage volunteers were askedto try and buy cigarettes from 104 vending machines across the region, and 81 timesthey were successful. Of the remaining machines, others were either empty, broken orswitched off. Only on a handful of occasions was the correct procedure carried out by anadult on the premises of challenging the volunteer about their age.Although smoking prevalence in the east of England is amongst the lowest in thecountry, smoking remains the single greatest cause of preventable death. It is the maincause of health inequality in the UK and costs the NHS about £2.7 billion a year.Each year in England an estimated 320,000 children under 16 try smoking for the firsttime and the majority of adult smokers were smoking regularly before they turned 18years of age.
Dr Anne McConville, Acting Regional Director of Public Health, said:“This legislation forms a crucial part of our programme in the East of England to reducethe uptake of smoking amongst young people. Removing access to tobacco fromvending machines will help to protect future generations in the region from becomingaddicted to a product that is still the greatest cause of preventable death, disease anddisability.”Andrew Butler at the East of England Trading Standards Association said:“Our exercise last year revealed some disappointing results, and we hope this newlegislation will reduce young peoples access to cigarettes. We would encourage allbusinesses that require advice on compliance with the law to contact their local TradingStandards office for assistance”.The move comes as part of the Government’s tobacco control plan, published earlier thisyear, which will help to reduce smoking prevalence across the country and aims toprevent people dying unnecessarily from smoking related illnesses. With around one infive people in the east of England still smoking, helping people to give-up remains a keypriority for local NHS services, Local Authorities and community partners. EndsNotes for editorsFor more information please contact the NHS East of England Press OfficeTelephone 01223 597545Email firstname.lastname@example.orgPager 07699 727 918Website www.eoe.nhs.uk1. *Breakdown of the results by local authority area: Visits SalesEssex 20 15Hertfordshire 20 15Suffolk 15 15Norfolk 15 14Bedford 5 3
Central Bedfordshire 9 6Luton 5 5Peterborough 5 3Southend 5 3Thurrock 5 2Total 104 81 (78%)