CUMBRIA'S Public Health chief has welcomed changes that come into force next week which will see all retailers removing cigarettes from display.

From Monday any outlet selling tobacco products must ensure they are not on public display.  It follows a change in the law designed to reduce the number of young people taking up smoking.

Colin Cox, Director of Cumbria County Council’s Public health team, said: “Smoking causes nearly 900 premature deaths each year in Cumbria and 66 per cent of regular smokers started smoking before the age of 18. 

“Evidence shows that colourful and eye-catching tobacco displays in shops can promote the uptake of smoking by young people and undermine the resolve of adults who are trying to quit smoking. We are committed to protecting children and young people from the unsolicited promotion of tobacco products and fully support this change in the law.”

Large retailers have adopted the no-display practice since 2012. Adult smoking rates for England are now at their lowest ever levels and the latest figures show only 8% of 15 year old pupils are regular smokers, compared with 22% in 2003, although in Cumbria 18% of children say that they have smoked.

Phil Greenup, Senior Manager Trading Standards and Resilience, said: “The removal of tobacco from display in all stores is another important step in driving down the levels of smoking amongst young people. It is one part of a wider initiative taken across the county that includes education, awareness training for retail staff and test purchasing exercises to ensure that our young residents cannot access tobacco products and are no longer encouraged to even start the habit.” 

Any traders who are unsure what is expected of them are urged to contact Trading Standards before the deadline to receive further assistance and advice on this matter.

Cumbria Trading Standards can be contacted via the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 040506 and  Further information regarding trading standards and consumer protection legislation can be accessed via the Business Companion web-site at