Guernsey bans tobacco advertising

BMJ 1996; 313 doi: (Published 06 July 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;313:12
  1. Alison Boulton
  1. London

    Guernsey has become the first place in the British Isles to impose a complete ban on tobacco advertising as part of a widespread package of antismoking measures aimed particularly at teenage smokers. Guernsey's board of health initiated, researched, and finalised the measures, which were accepted by Guernsey's parliament last week and will take effect from January 1997.

    Dr David Jeffs, the island's director of public health, said, “It has taken determination against considerable, orchestrated, and well organised opposition, but both bodies have stuck to their guns. Given the considerable benefits to public health, we hope the UK will have the courage to rapidly adopt similar measures.”

    Unlike in the United Kingdom, where a packet of cigarettes costs £2.75-2.80 ($4.12-4.20) a packet, a similar brand costs £1.76 in Guernsey because of low duty. From next January 45p in extra duty will be added, and there will be an annual rise of 8.5% on duty for the next five years.

    Other measures include the banning of cigarette advertising on hoardings or in local newspapers and sponsorship of sports events by tobacco companies. Legislators will not be able to prevent the publication of tobacco advertising in national magazines and newspapers arriving from the United Kingdom. The minimum age for buying tobacco will increase from 16 to 18. Pamela Furness, chief executive of Action on Smoking and Health, called Guernsey's action the “most important precedent in tobacco control in the Western world in recent years.”

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