Health written question – answered on 5th February 2008.

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Photo of Alistair Carmichael Alistair Carmichael Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Northern Ireland)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health

(1) what steps his Department plans to take to prevent those under the age of 18 years purchasing cigarettes from vending machines;

(2) if he will strengthen the regulations on the sale of cigarettes from vending machines to under 18-year-olds.

Photo of Dawn Primarolo Dawn Primarolo Minister of State (Department of Health) (Public Health)

There remains concern that too many children and young people under the age of 18 years purchase cigarettes from vending machines. The "Smoking, drinking and drug use among young people in England in 2006" survey found that 17 per cent., of 11 to 15-year-olds who are regular smokers buy cigarettes from vending machines.

On 3 December 2007, the Department published the "Cancer Reform Strategy" which included a commitment to consult on proposals for the next steps in tobacco control and the further regulation of tobacco products, including access to tobacco from vending machines. This consultation will take place during spring 2008.

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