Oral health charity welcomes ban on cigarette machines

An oral health charity has welcomed a landmark decision to ban tobacco vending machines ahead of November’s Mouth Cancer Action Month.

A House of Commons vote saw MPs vote to retain a ban on tobacco displays at the point of sale and ban tobacco vending machines.

And the British Dental Health Foundation (BDHF) – whose support for the bans set forth the oral health case for tobacco control measures – praised Parliament’s decision.
Foundation chief executive Dr Nigel Carter said: ‘Our Mouth Cancer Action Month campaign begins on 1 November so this news has come as a great boost.

‘Tobacco is linked to three-quarters of mouth cancer cases, while tobacco also worsens gum disease – which has been linked to serious health problems.

‘Banning tobacco vending machines is a landmark decision which will help keep tobacco out of children’s hands. The point-of-sale display ban has been proven to help prevent impulse purchases so this vote is very welcome.’
Mouth Cancer Action Month 2009, to run throughout November, will promote lifestyle choices such as quitting smoking, cutting down on alcohol and eating healthily.

The disease kills one person every five hours in the UK and has seen numbers diagnosed annually increase by 40% in the past decade.

Dr Saman Warnakulasuriya, World Health Organization oral cancer expert, has used previous campaigns to call for tobacco control and for powers to prescribe smoking cessation advice to be extended to dentists.

The nuts and bolts of how the Government’s proposed new tobacco control laws will work in practice are now out for consultation.

The Government is calling for views about key elements of the laws to make sure they are practical and affordable while still achieving the Government’s public health policy on combatting smoking.

The consultation gives people the opportunity to comment on the details of the proposed regulations. It asks for feedback on how proposals will work in practice, such as:

• Keeping tobacco out of sight in shops but ensuring that shopkeepers are still able to serve their customers and are able to restock their shelves without breaking the new law.
• Displaying price lists so that shopkeepers can continue to trade efficiently – but making sure the lists don’t use branding or colours in ways that promote the products.

For more information on the campaign, supported by Denplan and Vizilite Plus, visit www.mouthcancer.org.

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