The open display of tobacco in England and Wales is to go up in smoke – under government plans being put forward in the UK.
Many small shop owners, who earn a large part of their revenue from cigarettes, have complained the measures will cripple them.
But, Betty McBride from the British Heart Foundation praised the decision.
“Young people, children, are influenced by the glitz, the glamour, the bright lights and cleverly mounted displays. So, putting them under the counter means that they will be out of sight and out of mind,” she said.
The move to force shops to stop selling tobacco openly aims to cut the number of young smokers starting the habit. But not everyone is convinced.
“If you’re going to do it, you’re going to do it, aren’t you. I think it’s more the group of friends that you hang around with than what the shop has got on its shelves,’‘ said a teenage customer.
“It’s going to make no difference whatsoever. If a young person goes into the shop wanting a cigarette, they going to get cigarettes, it doesn’t matter whether they can see them or not,’‘ said a young woman.
The British government estimates some 200,000 children between the ages of 11 and 15 are regular smokers, despite a ban on advertising and the raising of the legal age to buy tobacco.