At last, a tobacco manufacturer sticks its head over the parapet and says to government enough is enough. Imperial Tobacco has issued a statement stating that its subsidiary will challenge the government plans to ban vending machines.
And why not? There are – as stated on this site before – many ways that the children can be prevented from purchasing cigarettes, mostly obviously by ensuring that “tokens” must be issued over the counter to use the machines. Anyone under age will not be sold a token and so be unable to use the machines. (There are other systems, equally effective I should add) Simple! This would eradicate the problem of underage purchases in one fell swoop, whilst not limiting the rights of business to sell, and consumers to buy, this perfectly legal product. Everyone happy.
Unless of course this is NOT about under age usage – but an evangelical mission by the Health Secretary to “eradicate” smokers from the face of the earth?
Ok, it may be a bit strong to say “the tobacco fight back starts here”. I am sure that tobacco companies have done much behind the scenes to stand their ground in recent years. But ordinary folks like me dont always get to see they are doing. So well done Imperial Tobacco.
The press release from Imperial Tobacco reads….
“Imperial Tobacco Group PLC announces today that its subsidiary cigarette vending machine company Sinclair Collis is seeking a judicial review of the relevant sections of the Health Act 2009 which seek to ban sales of tobacco from vending machines from October 2011.
Gareth Davis, Chief Executive, said: “Legal action is always a last resort but the Government’s decision to ban cigarette vending machines is so disproportionate and unnecessary that it must be challenged.
“We do not want children to smoke and supported the Government’s proposal to stop underage access through the introduction of electronic ID cards, token mechanisms and remote control technology.
“These are effective solutions which have been implemented in a number of other countries and it is a matter of great regret that the UK Government ultimately chose to disregard all of these options in favour of a ban that will result in significant job losses in the vending industry.”Tags: Imperial Tobacco, smoking, smoking ban, vending machines