Displays of tobacco products will not be allowed in any British stores as of 2015, Reuters reported March 9.
Britain’s Department of Health has instituted a ban that will be phased in gradually. Supermarkets and large stores will need to comply by 2012; small shops will follow in 2015.
The move is part of a larger campaign to reduce adult smoking rates in the country from over 20 percent to 18.5 percent by 2015. Other tactics include raising tobacco prices and providing assistance to smokers who want to quit. Later this year, the government will be looking into whether to force tobacco manufacturers to use plain packaging.
“Smoking is undeniably one of the biggest and most stubborn challenges in public health,” said Health Secretary Andrew Lansley. “Over eight million people in England still smoke and it causes more than 80,000 deaths each year.”
Tobacco companies are fighting the new ban in court, and a judicial review is expected in April.