Pressure is growing for Britain to follow the lead of Guernsey, whose
parliament voted last week to ban tobacco advertising (Campaign, 28
Anti-smoking groups declared themselves delighted with the island’s
decision to become the first part of the UK to introduce a ban.
Deputies of the States of Guernsey, the island’s parliament, voted
almost two to one for a total ban on local tobacco advertising.
They also approved proposals from the island’s Board of Health to raise
the price of a packet of cigarettes by about 40p from the start of next
year and to raise the minimum age at which cigarettes can be bought from
16 to 18.
Andrew Ozanne, a committee member of Parents Against Tobacco, a
Guernsey-based group that had been campaigning for the ban, said: ‘The
tide is running firmly in favour of the anti-smoking lobby.’
The Channel Islands tobacco importers are due to meet within the next
three weeks to discuss the implications of the ban. One option could be
to take their case to Whitehall, which has to ratify the decision. But
Peter Tabb, their spokesman, admitted: ‘I’m not sure there’s very much
we can do about it.’
Opponents of the ban claimed its effect would be minimal and was
unlikely to bring a tobacco ad ban on the British mainland any closer.
Clive Turner, a spokesman for the Tobacco Manufacturers Association,
whose remit does not extend to the Channel Islands, described the
decision as ‘Draconian and unfair’. He said: ‘The anti-smoking lobby
will see it as a moral victory but cooler heads will see the need for a
more rational approach.’
Andrew Brown, the Advertising Association’s director general, was
sceptical about the ban’s knock-on effect. ‘Guernsey’s circumstances are
different from the rest of the UK - cigarettes are much cheaper there,’
he said. ‘I think the ban will have little impact on the rest of the
Leader, page 19