Buying Cigarettes
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Health fuming over shop cigarette promo

Jersey's Health Department say they are "disappointed" that two retailers are advertising cheap cigarettes in their shop windows on the island.

Both Checkers and Iceland stores, owned by the Sandpiper group, are promoting reduced tobacco deals.

The Health Promotion Unit say the move undermines their years of work trying to reduce smoking in the island and advertisements such as those on display today are openly promoting a habit that kills.

Andrew Heaven from the Health Promotion Jersey said: "We're really disappointed. The States of Jersey has endorsed tobacco control strategy which tries to protect young people and tries to reduce the number of tobacco consumed on the island and we are currently pursuing regulations that would prohibit advertising of smoking like this."

Advertising tobacco on television was banned in the 1990s, but similar retail legislation is still being drafted and before Jersey introduces a complete ban for shops across the island, the Health Department is awaiting the outcome of retail appeals in the UK.

Guernsey's government are one step ahead of Jersey when it comes to tobacco displays.

They have agreed in principle to force retailers to put cigarettes and similar products under the counter in an attempt to reduce the number of young people taking up the habit.

But it is a move that has annoyed the Citima, the Channel Island Tobacco Importers and Manufactures Association.

Because legislation is not in place to stop supermarkets like Checkers advertising cheap cigarettes, there is nothing health officials can do because they are not breaking the law.

But when governments globally are trying to cut the number of smokers, the question is whether retailers have a moral obligation to help in that campaign.

We did contact Sandpiper for a response to their cigarette offers, but nobody was available to comment.

So while Jersey's government waits to follow Westminister's lead, cut price cigarettes will continue to be sold in the island.

Published: Friday, August 12, 2011

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