Display ban on tobacco products comes one step closer

14/09/2009

A display ban on tobacco products came one step closer today with the publication of a stage 1 report from the Health and Sport Committee.

If passed, the Tobacco and Primary Medical Services (Scotland) Bill would affect the sale and display of tobacco-related products and vending machines.

Committee Convener Christine Grahame MSP said: “The majority of our committee believe that cigarettes at the point of sale represent an advertisement and a ban on these displays would have a particularly positive effect in deterring teenagers.

"Most members also believe that cigarette vending machines should be banned, bringing them into line with other age-restricted products like alcohol.

"Everyone agreed that deterrents to stop young people smoking are necessary and this is why we are calling for the Bill to be amended to criminalise the act of buying cigarettes on behalf of under-18s.

“The committee further expressed support for proposals on a national register of tobacco retailers and police powers to confiscate tobacco from under-18s.”

Primary Medical Services
The second part of the Bill on Primary Medical Services proposes excluding certain individuals or private firms from entering into contracts with health boards to provide GP services.

While the majority of the committee supported this part of the Bill, members had reservations on a number of areas.

  • Some members believe the Bill should be amended to allow a community co-operative to hold the contract.
  • Some members were concerned about a profit-motivated company with no medical links holding the contract at all.
  • The committee was united in its agreement with the Royal College of Nurses’ position that the legislation should be amended to enable the possibility of general medical services contracts being held by nurses as well as GPs in the future.

Background
The Tobacco and Primary Medical Services (Scotland) Bill was introduced by Nicola Sturgeon MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing, on 25 February 2009.

If passed, the Bill would reform two distinct areas of health legislation. Part 1 is on the sale and display of tobacco and tobacco-related products. Part 2 is an amendment of the NHS (Scotland) Act 1978 to exclude certain categories of individuals and private companies from the contractual provision of primary medical services in Scotland.

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