BELFAST, Northern Ireland ? The Northern Ireland Assembly has okayed a ban on tobacco promotion and advertising within its borders, BBC News reports. Northern Ireland Health Minister Edwin Poots said the new rules were designed ?to prevent young people from taking up smoking.?
Large companies will have to comply with the new regulations starting October 31, 2012, while smaller businesses would have until April 2015. Other parts of the United Kingdom will soon have similar rules in place. The U.K. government also is considering a plain packaging law based on Australia?s.
?While I?m not claiming that my department?s new tobacco control regulations would solve the problem of youth smoking, I believe that putting promotion and branding out of sight will help to put it out of mind for a number of young people,? said Poots.
Under the new rules, retailers can list prices next to product pictures on a poster, but the photos will not be on permanent display or on pricing labels. Local district environmental health officials will enforce the new regulations.