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BR Video: Public mixed over ban on cigarette display

LONDON - As tobacco companies prepare a legal challenge to government plans to require retailers to move cigarettes under the counter, few people believe such a move will stop young people smoking, according to the latest BR Video.

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The Health Act 2009 requires all cigarettes, cigars, pipe and rolling tobacco products to be hidden from view in England, Wales and Northern Ireland from October 2011 in large shops and from October 2013 in smaller shops.

Last week it emerged that three companies, British American Tobacco, Japan Tobacco and Imperial Tobacco, have issued pre-action letters to the Department of Health and now intend to take the matter to judicial review.

We asked a selection of people whether shops should be forced to move cigarettes and their answers were mixed. Those who agreed argued that if people cannot see cigarettes in shops they may not be so tempted to smoke, but many disagreed.

Dane, an 18-year-old student said it should be a "personal choice"; Kirstie, a 20-year-old sales assistant agreed, saying "if people want to smoke it's up to them".

When asked if such a move would reduce the number of young people who smoke, almost everyone disagreed.

John, a retired 64-year-old said: "I think if they're going to smoke they're going to smoke. If they can't get them in shop A they'll get them in shop B."

The interviews were conducted by Vox Pops International for Brand Republic.

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