United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland – Ban on sales from vending machines in Northern Ireland

Members of the Legislative Assembly (representatives elected by the voters to the Northern Ireland Assembly) agreed to ban sales of cigarettes from vending machines in Northern Ireland, with a view to driving down the number of children and young people who smoke. It is estimated that vending machines are the usual source of tobacco products for 14% of smokers aged between 11 and 16 years. The ban will come into effect on 1 March 2012. A similar law entered into force in England in October 2011; in Wales, a ban should enter into force in February 2012; while in Scotland, the ban has been delayed owing to a legal challenge.

More information is available from Jenny McAlarney, Health Improvement Policy Branch, Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety (Jenny.McAlarney@dhsspsni.gov.uk)