Event venues reminded to stub out vending machines

Pubs, restaurants, function venues and hotels are reminded to throw out their old cigarette vending machines as the units became illegal as of October 1st.

From Saturday, event venues that are still found to sell tobacco in public areas could face a £2,500 fine, reports the Mail Online. In addition to the ban on the sales of cigarettes, all public advertising in unlicensed venues will have to go as well.

The British Heart Foundation, who pushed for the legislation, estimates that as many as 46,000 children aged between 11 and 15 have been able to buy from vending machines prior to the ban.

Health secretary Andrew Lansley believes that children and young people will now less inclined to smoke in the first place due to the changes.

“Cigarette vending machines are often unsupervised, making it easy for children to purchase cigarettes from them,” he said, reports The Metro.

“The ban on cigarette sales from vending machines will protect children by making cigarettes less accessible to them – we want to do everything we can to encourage young people not to start smoking in the first place,” he added.

Behind-the-counter displays of tobacco products for sale in other venues will begin to wane from April next year as large shops and clubs will too face a ban. Smaller shops however have until 2015 until they have to remove their cigarette displays. The government has also proposed to introduce plain packaging legislation on cigarettes in order to help others kick the habit.