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Last Updated: Wednesday, 26 March 2008, 14:00 GMT

'Next big challenge' on smoking

ASH Scotland wants cigarette retailers to be licensed

Campaigners have marked the second anniversary of the smoking ban in Scotland by calling for more action to stop youngsters taking up the habit.

ASH Scotland released figures suggesting more than eight out of ten Scots supported the ban.

The group wants retailers to have to apply for a licence, which could be taken away if they are caught selling to underage youngsters.

Scotland banned smoking in enclosed public spaces on 26 March 2006.

The next big challenge is to stop a new generation getting hooked on tobacco
Sheila Duffy
ASH Scotland

ASH Scotland chief executive Sheila Duffy hailed the legislation as a "great success".

But she added: "The next big challenge is to stop a new generation getting hooked on tobacco."

She said government figures show that every year, 15,000 13-24 year olds start smoking in Scotland.

The organisation said that between 2005 and 2006, only two retailers were fined for selling cigarettes to children and the penalties were both less than 200.

Ms Duffy said "ASH Scotland is calling on the government to take the next big step to improve the health of our young people."

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