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Thursday, 22 August, 2002, 12:23 GMT 13:23 UK
Tobacco ads to go 'by end of year'
Ministers say the move will save 3,000 lives each year
Tobacco advertising looks set to be banned across the UK by the end of this year.

A bill outlawing ads in magazines, newspapers, on the internet and on billboards is currently going through Parliament.

Ministers said on Thursday that the measures, if passed by MPs, will come into effect "by the end of 2002".


A ban on tobacco advertising and promotion is an effective measure we can take to stop young people from starting to smoke

Public Health Minister Hazel Blears
The government believes the move will save up to 3,000 lives a year.

The Tobacco Advertising and Promotion Bill won government backing earlier this year.

It has completed all stages in the House of Lords and is expected to be given final approval by MPs when they return from their summer recess.

Under the plans, tobacco companies will also be stopped from sponsoring sporting events.

Formula 1 ban

However, as expected Formula 1 racing and other "global sporting events" will be given until 2006 to find alternative sources of funding.

The Bill will stop companies from promoting smoking by giving away tobacco products for free and through coupons or mail shots.

Restrictions will also be imposed on the promotion of products in shops.

In addition, companies will be stopped from putting tobacco logos on items such as clothes.

Public Health Minister Hazel Blears said: "A ban on tobacco advertising and promotion is an effective measure we can take to stop young people from starting to smoke and to reduce the numbers who will ultimately die every year from smoking related diseases such as cancer and coronary heart disease.

"Research shows that an advertising ban could eventually save up to 3,000 lives a year."

Details of the plans have been published in a consultation document. Members of the public and other interested groups have until 15 November to respond to the proposals.

Opposition support

Lord Clement-Jones, Liberal Democrat health spokesman in the Lords who introduced the Bill originally, welcomed the document.

"This is good progress on the Bill, and I welcome the government's support. I hope that the Government will now see the Bill through its final Commons stages as soon as possible when the House returns, so that the general ban can be in place by the end of the year."

The party's health spokesman Dr Evan Harris added: "This measure will save thousands of life each year and is long overdue."

See also:

22 Aug 02 | Health
15 Mar 02 | Health
02 Nov 01 | Politics
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