PoliticsUK - 1992
Tobacco Advertising Act 1992 - Printable Version

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Tobacco Advertising Act 1992 - Janet Marshall - 10-28-2018

Quote:Tobacco Advertising Act 1992
An act to place restrictions on the advertising, promotion and sale of tobacco products.

Be it enacted by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

1. Advertising
(1) A person who in the course of a business publishes, prints, devises or distributes a tobacco advertisement, or causes one to be published, printed, devised or distributed, in the United Kingdom is guilty of an offence.

(2) A person is not guilty of an offence under subsection 1 where they do not carry on business in the United Kingdom or produce an advertisement which is not intended for distribution within the United Kingdom.

(3) If a newspaper, periodical or other publication containing a tobacco advertisement is published in the United Kingdom, any proprietor or editor is guilty of an offence, and any person who procured the inclusion of the advertisement is guilty of an offence, and any person who sells or offers for sale or otherwise makes the publication available to the public is guilty of an offence.

2. Sponsorship and Brandsharing
(1) A person who is party to a sponsorship agreement is guilty of an offence if the purpose or effect of anything done as a result of the agreement is to promote a tobacco product in the United Kingdom.

(2) A person who is party to a brandsharing agreement where a name, emblem or other feature of a tobacco product is used in connection with any other service or product, or where the name, emblem or other feature of any other product is used in connection with a tobacco product.

3. Promotions
(1) A person is guilty of an offence if in the course of a business they give any product or coupon away to the public in the United Kingdom and the purpose of giving the product or coupon away is to promote a tobacco product.

(2) A person is guilty of an offence if in the course of a business they provide a substantial discount, as defined by regulations which may be made, on the price of purchasing a tobacco product.

4. Tobacco Vending Machines
(1) For the purposes of this section, a "vending machine" is defined as a device which enables the sale of a product to a customer through interaction with the device and without requiring the attention or input of any other person to complete the transaction.

(2) A person is guilty of an offence if in the course of a business they install or operate a vending machine for the purposes of selling tobacco products.

5. Packaging of Tobacco Products
(1) The appropriate Minister may make regulations for restrictions of packaging to contain a tobacco product.

(2) Such regulations as set out may include:
(a) requirements to include specific medical information of images;
(b) restrictions on the colours, images or text which may be included; and,
© restrictions on the size or capacity of the packaging.

6. Age restrictions on Tobacco Products
(1) A person is guilty of an offence if in the course of a business they sell or distribute tobacco products to a person under the age of 18.

7. Transitional Arrangements
(1) The appropriate Minister may make regulations providing for transitional provisions such that provisions in this legislation shall not apply in specific instances or in general before a date so specified.

(2) The date specified may not be later than 1st January 2000.

8. Penalties
(1) A person guilty of an offence under or by virtue of any other provision of this Act is liable—
(a) on summary conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months, or a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale, or both, or
(b) on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years, or a fine, or both.

9. Short title, extent and commencement
(1) This act may be cited as the Tobacco Advertising Act 1992
(2) This act extends to the entire United Kingdom.
(3) This act commences 12 months after receiving Royal Assent, with specific provisions commencing as laid out within the act.

Madam Speaker, I am delighted to be introducing this legislation to the House today as the first step in this government's promised effort to improve public health. 

The evidence that smoking is a serious risk to health has been building for some decades now since the 1950 report in the British Medical Journal of a link between smoking and lung cancer. By this stage, the case is overwhelming - we know conclusively that smoking causes a range of terrible diseases and health conditions. As our awareness of this medical fact has increased, expert opinion has pushed for steps to be taken to prevent tobacco products from being promoted and encouraging more people to take up a habit which is both addictive and seriously detrimental to life expectancy. Such steps have been taken slowly, with television advertisements banned in 1965, health warnings on packets from 1971 and cinema advertisements banned from 1986. Still, the British Medical Association has long called for a ban on all forms of advertisement in the interests of the health of the country and particularly our young people - most long-term smokers start very early in life and suffer the health consequences for the rest of their lives. This legislation would deliver that change which has long been desired.

Within this bill we are presenting a range of new policies which will significantly reduce the extent to which tobacco products can be promoted. The first is very simple - this legislation would end printed advertisements for tobacco products. We all know that product promotion today goes far beyond printed advertisements, however. This legislation would also see an end to sponsorship and brand sharing arrangements which promote tobacco usage and would prevent any kind of discounted promotions which aim to provide an inexpensive gateway for new users to try tobacco at a lower cost, with the risk of becoming hooked. In particular, the use of sponsorship of events - notably high-profile sporting events - has allowed tobacco companies to glamourise their products and promote them significantly in a context which particularly holds the attention of many of our young people. Smoking is not glamourous, it is dangerous.

In addition to these steps on advertising and promotion, there are new regulations on the sale of tobacco products within this bill. First, we will be raising the minimum age requirement to purchase tobacco products from 16 to 18, in line with the age restriction for alcohol. Young people are particularly at risk of the effects of using tobacco products and the harmonisation of age limits with alcohol is a sensible step forward to preventing harm to our children. Secondly, we will be banning vending machines from selling tobacco products in an automated way. Such machines not only make it much easier to purchase tobacco products, but especially increase the risk of selling tobacco products to those who are not supposed to be able to purchase them.

Finally, for the substantive changes to the law contained within this bill, this legislation would empower the government to implement new regulations related to the packaging of tobacco products. As I have previously mentioned, packaging has for some time now had to carry a health warning, but this bill will allow further regulations to be put in place around how packaging may be permitted to look. It would be inappropriate for tobacco products to be packaged in such a way as to appeal to children or young people, who again are especially at risk from exposure to tobacco products.

There may be some concerns over the implementation of some of these changes. For instance, in the case of sponsorship there may be prior agreements which need to run their course or be altered to comply with these new regulations. For that reason, this legislation includes provisions for transitional arrangements, allowing phasing in of these new regulations between now and the start of the new millennium. We envisage many of these regulations coming into force a year from passage, as laid out in the bill, but will consider the reasonable use of transitional arrangements to ensure there is no harm done in the implementation of these new, common-sense changes.

What this legislation does not do is ban smoking, nor does it prevent individuals from choosing to smoke if that is indeed what they want to do. But advertising and promotion exist to encourage people to smoke who might not otherwise choose to do so and pushes people in a direction which we know very well is detrimental to their health. It is right and proper that there should be firm restrictions on such promotion.

Madam Speaker, we have lost too many lives to smoking-related diseases. We now know very well the dangers that smoking presents. It is foolhardy to endorse the promotion of such a product, whose main result is addiction and ill-health, to anyone and especially to our young people. Smoking-related diseases cost our NHS millions of pounds every year and more importantly cost thousands of people years of their life. An entire A to Z of medical bodies, charities and professional organisations have spent years calling for these changes to the law. This is, of course, only one stage in the government's public health strategy, and is only one stage in the government's strategy to reduce the damage that tobacco does on our society. We will additionally be providing more support to smokers who wish to quit smoking and will engage in a public health campaign to share accurate information with the public about the harms of smoking. This is only the first step but is an important one.

The last government put in place limited measures, but would not go all the way in doing what is right for our country. This government will. I commend this bill to the House.

RE: Tobacco Advertising Act 1992 - Agnes Hamstead MP - 10-28-2018

Mme. Speaker,

I move the bill be now read a second time.

RE: Tobacco Advertising Act 1992 - Morgan - 10-30-2018


Second reading.

RE: Tobacco Advertising Act 1992 - Philippa Mountjoy - 10-31-2018

Madam Speaker, why is this Government so insistent on enforcing a Nanny State on the UK?

Do they not trust the same people who exercise their free will to vote for their party, to exercise the same free will....or restraint....when it comes to being influenced by advertisement? Do they really feel it is the responsibility of a Government in Westminster to enforce a complete ban on a legal consumer good? The last time I looked, tobacco hasn't been made illegal. In fact it creates a lot of wealth through tax for the nation.

So why, Madam Speaker, does the Secretary of State.....the Prime Minister.....the Government....feel that they need to intervene in the free will and educated decisions of the electorate?

RE: Tobacco Advertising Act 1992 - Philip Porter - 10-31-2018

Mme. Speaker,

Why wait for nearly 8 years to enforce this legislation? Why allow potentially tens of thousands of more Britons to become addicted, ill, and die? Why the wait?

RE: Tobacco Advertising Act 1992 - Philippa Mountjoy - 10-31-2018

Madam Speaker,

Does the Honourable Member for Orkney and Shetlands feel that his constituents, and the numerous smokers around the country, need him and his Party to nanny them? Does he not think they are adult and able enough to make their own minds up? Does he believe that adults, who we rely on to make the important decision on who represents them in Parliament, are not able...without legislation from Parliament...to decide whether tobacco advertisement will or won't effect their decision to smoke?

My parents smoked, Madam Speaker, but I decided I didn't want to. I have never smoked a cigarette in my life despite the freedom of advertisement. I was sensible to make my own my own mind up. Why does the Government and Members of the Liberal Party not feel that the people of the UK are adult....mature...enough to make their own minds up without legislation?

RE: Tobacco Advertising Act 1992 - Janet Marshall - 10-31-2018

Madam Speaker, when the government's legislation is being criticised for being too harsh and not harsh enough, it might just be that we are doing something right!

I will answer the Honourable Member for Orkney and Shetlands first. This legislation would not wait 8 years to be enforced. The text of the bill makes clear that it comes into force one year after attaining Royal Assent, but that the government will be able to put transitional arrangements in effect in limited cases of need where a longer lead time is needed. We only foresee this being used for a small minority of the provisions contained in the legislation. In particular, the sponsorship of events, particularly major ones, will probably need to be given some additional time for organisers to adapt to the new regulations and put in place the necessary contracts. This government will not delay the enforcement of the provisions in this legislation for any longer than is necessary, that is for certain.

I then come to the Honourable Member for Woking - I believe it is the first time I have had the pleasure of an exchange in the House with her. I will say something that I am sure will surprise her - she is right. She is correct that tobacco hasn't been made illegal; not by this or any prior legislation. When this policy comes into force, adults will still be free to make their own decisions and choose whether to smoke or not to smoke. This government has done nothing to change that fact, because we do trust people to exercise free will. She is incorrect when she says the government is going "to enforce a complete ban on a legal consumer good" - that is in no way true.

I have spoken enough about what this legislation doesn't do, but what it does do is very important. Advertisements naturally serve to promote, extol and glamorise the products they concern. The Honourable Member opposite may have chosen not to smoke, despite advertisements. But many are drawn in by the glamour that tobacco companies are able to surround their brands with, in particular our young people. There are a number of young people, including those below the legal age for purchasing tobacco, who are led by advertisements, high-profile sponsorships and other promotions to believe that smoking will bring them all manner of benefits. The reality that we know from all evidence is that smoking brings no measurable benefit and an enormous amount of harm. I also challenge members of this House that if they are going to claim advertising does not impact on the decisions people make, they should consider why companies continue to spend so much money on it. This government isn't going to stop any person of the appropriate age from choosing to start smoking should they wish, but we do want to stop tobacco companies from glamourising a product which primarily serves to subtract years from a persons life expectancy, and cost the public purse millions of pounds in NHS treatment for smoking-related diseases, all purely for their own profits.

There is no nannying occuring. People will be free to make up their own minds. Tobacco purchase will not be illegal. If the Honourable Member opposite would confine her contributions to the real, and not imagined, effects of this legislation that would be greatly appreciated.

RE: Tobacco Advertising Act 1992 - Philippa Mountjoy - 10-31-2018

Madam Speaker, I can assure the Secretary of State that I am opposing this Bill for being too harsh.  Like me, she should treat the comments by the Liberal Democrats with the contempt they deserve.

I have to say I am pleased, and somewhat lost for words that she agrees with me.  *Smiles* Somewhat but not completely lost for words.

I have to disagree with her, Madam Speaker *looks at the Secretary of State and mouths "Sorry"*  

If she accepts that adults have the right to decide for themselves and if she doesn't believe the State should Nanny consumers, why is this Bill being presented?  What does it hope to achieve?

RE: Tobacco Advertising Act 1992 - Janet Marshall - 10-31-2018

Madam Speaker, I'm not entirely sure whether the Honourable Member for Woking was paying attention, but I gave a whole speech to the house explaining why this bill is being presented and what it hopes to achieve. Would she like us all to start again for her benefit?

RE: Tobacco Advertising Act 1992 - Philippa Mountjoy - 10-31-2018

No Madam Speaker, I would not like the Secretary of State to start again.  I am sure if she did it would cause an epidemic of amnesia through boredom to spread through the Chamber.

I would, however, like her to explain to the House what....exactly....this....Bill...hopes to achieve?

RE: Tobacco Advertising Act 1992 - Janet Marshall - 10-31-2018

Madam Speaker, this is becoming somewhat tedious. There was a whole long speech I gave where I outlined in some detail what this legislation does and what it hopes to achieve. I'm sure her constituents are delighted to hear she finds doing her job in this chamber to be boring, but I refer her back to that speech for the detailed explanation of what this bill hopes to achieve that I have already delivered. If she has substantive points or questions, I would be delighted to respond to them.

RE: Tobacco Advertising Act 1992 - Philippa Mountjoy - 10-31-2018

And I have to say, Madam Speaker, the Secretary of State's speech was very tedious.  Is it any wonder Honourable and Right Honourable Members may have lost consciousness whilst she spoke.

Madam Speaker, just to accommodate someone who the Secretary of State obviously regards as lacking comprehension, could she explain to me...in simple words if she wishes...pictures would suffice...what she and the Government hopes to achieve with this Bill?

RE: Tobacco Advertising Act 1992 - Charles Kinbote - 10-31-2018

Madam Speaker,

I do agree with the Secretary of State that we need to do something to curb smoking in an attempt to reduce cancer rates. What I'm concerned about is the definition of a tobacco advert. Would a simple sign in a shop window that plainly states "tobacco sold here" be classed as a tobacco advert under this act, would a shop that classes itself as a tobacconist, and has a sign to state so, be classed as promoting tobacco, would a shop who has tobacco products openly on display be classed as advertising tobacco, and therefore be liable under this act?

RE: Tobacco Advertising Act 1992 - Janet Marshall - 10-31-2018

Madam Speaker, I thank the Honourable Member for Hexham for his question and I want to join him in his desire to reduce rates of cancer and other smoking-related diseases. As I stated in my opening speech - and the Member for Woking may wish to pay attention to this bit - reducing the serious harm done by smoking to the health of the nation is a key driver in this government's policy.

This legislation would not prevent a shop from classifying itself as a tobacconist, from stating that it sells tobacco or from putting tobacco products on display. These alone do not constitute advertising - the tobacconist designation or statement that tobacco is for sale are simply signage and are especially removed from advertisements as they do not promote any specific tobacco product. Simply displaying products which are for sale also does not constitute an advertisement.

I hope the member opposite is satisfied that this legislation would not impinge on the legal sale of tobacco by businesses, nor the legal purchase by consumers. Those who still wish to make a decision to purchase tobacco products would be able to do so.

RE: Tobacco Advertising Act 1992 - Charles Kinbote - 10-31-2018

Madam Speaker,

I am perfectly happy with the response she has provided, and I thank her for doing so.

RE: Tobacco Advertising Act 1992 - Joseph Flanagan - 11-02-2018

Madam Speaker

I must an interest in this matter as a smoker. I have seen many of my peers of my generation have their health affected and lives shortened by tobacco products. This bill should be welcomed by all sides of the house and we should not allow powerful interest and lobbying groups to dictate public policy or see us act against the public interest.

RE: Tobacco Advertising Act 1992 - Philippa Mountjoy - 11-02-2018

Madam Speaker, I still do not understand the Governments purpose in this Bill. The only outcome I see is that they are attempting to introduce a Nanny State. What is their next Bill going to introduce? The complete banning of smoking in public places? The complete ban on smoking? And then what?

Ban on alcohol?

This is a slippery slope Madam Speaker. It is the first step towards imposing the will of the minority on the majority. It is the first tentative step towards censorship. Those who value freedom of speech have to stand and oppose this Bill.

RE: Tobacco Advertising Act 1992 - Janet Marshall - 11-02-2018

Madam Speaker, the member for Woking appears to be the only one who hasn't caught on. She says "they are attempting to introduce a Nanny State", but this is purely a catchphrase. The government has no intention to introduce a complete ban on smoking in public places, or a complete ban on smoking - and certainly not whatever the member opposite has in mind when she says "and then what?".

The member opposite says this is a slippery slope. A slippery slope is well known as a logical fallacy - a fallacy she is currently falling into in a big way. "Imposing the will of the minority on the majority"? "First tentative step towards censorship"? What kind of Orwellian nightmare does the member opposite think she has wandered into? What has led her to believe this outlandish tale she has been weaving for herself?

But, let me tell her a true story. The member for Woking appears to believe that placing restrictions on the advertising of smoking is the end of civilisation. Of course, only the big, bad Labour party could do such a thing, right? Well, has she seen a cigarette advert in a cinema lately? No? Well, they were banned by the Thatcher government from 1986. I didn't hear any of these comments from her at that time, so why now?

Madam Speaker, this government is taking the steps recommended by medical professionals to promote good health in the country. This is not the beginning of the end, unless the end we are talking about is the end of premature death from tobacco.

RE: Tobacco Advertising Act 1992 - Charles Kinbote - 11-03-2018

Madam Speaker,

This is not the beginning of the end, it is the end of the beginning. The end of the beginning of smoking as an acceptable lifestyle. This is not nanny state, this is caring state.

RE: Tobacco Advertising Act 1992 - Agnes Hamstead MP - 11-04-2018

Mme. Speaker,

I move the House now divide on this matter.