Tobacco display ban advances

Government plans to ban the display of tobacco in stores have progressed through Parliament after a move to overturn them failed.

Last week, at the report stage of the Health Bill in the House of Lords, an amendment to remove clause 19, which relates to tobacco display was defeated.

In the debate before the vote both the Conservative and Liberal Democrat peers argued that the evidence to support the Government’s position on clause 19 was weak.

However, other amendments which sought to ban vending and to make plain packaging of tobacco mandatory were also defeated.

The Health Bill is likely to pass to the House of Commons in early June. Opponents of the ban say the level of debate within the House of Lords shows that it is still an important and topical issue for all political parties.

Retailers and wholesalers still have the opportunity to voice their concerns by contacting their local MP to ensure that their views are represented in Parliament at the next stage.

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