Previous Section Home Page

Paice, James

Parkinson, Rt Hon Cecil

Patnick, Irvine

Patten, Rt Hon Chris (Bath)

Patten, Rt Hon John

Peacock, Mrs Elizabeth

Porter, Barry (Wirral S)

Porter, David (Waveney)

Portillo, Michael

Powell, William (Corby)

Price, Sir David

Column 366

Raison, Rt Hon Timothy

Rathbone, Tim

Redwood, John

Renton, Rt Hon Tim

Rhodes James, Robert

Ridley, Rt Hon Nicholas

Rifkind, Rt Hon Malcolm

Roberts, Wyn (Conwy)

Roe, Mrs Marion

Rossi, Sir Hugh

Rost, Peter

Rowe, Andrew

Rumbold, Mrs Angela

Sackville, Hon Tom

Sainsbury, Hon Tim

Shaw, David (Dover)

Shaw, Sir Giles (Pudsey)

Shaw, Sir Michael (Scarb')

Shelton, Sir William

Shephard, Mrs G. (Norfolk SW)

Shepherd, Colin (Hereford)

Shepherd, Richard (Aldridge)

Sims, Roger

Skeet, Sir Trevor

Smith, Tim (Beaconsfield)

Soames, Hon Nicholas

Speller, Tony

Spicer, Michael (S Worcs)

Squire, Robin

Stanbrook, Ivor

Stanley, Rt Hon Sir John

Steen, Anthony

Stevens, Lewis

Stewart, Allan (Eastwood)

Stewart, Andy (Sherwood)

Stewart, Rt Hon Ian (Herts N)

Sumberg, David

Summerson, Hugo

Taylor, Ian (Esher)

Taylor, John M (Solihull)

Taylor, Teddy (S'end E)

Temple-Morris, Peter

Thompson, D. (Calder Valley)

Thompson, Patrick (Norwich N)

Thorne, Neil

Townsend, Cyril D. (B'heath)

Tredinnick, David

Trippier, David

Trotter, Neville

Twinn, Dr Ian

Vaughan, Sir Gerard

Wakeham, Rt Hon John

Waldegrave, Rt Hon William

Walden, George

Walker, Bill (T'side North)

Waller, Gary

Ward, John

Wardle, Charles (Bexhill)

Warren, Kenneth

Watts, John

Wheeler, Sir John

Whitney, Ray

Widdecombe, Ann

Wiggin, Jerry

Wilkinson, John

Wilshire, David

Winterton, Mrs Ann

Winterton, Nicholas

Wood, Timothy

Yeo, Tim

Young, Sir George (Acton)

Tellers for the Noes :

Mr. David Lightbown and

Mr. Sydney Chapman.

Question accordingly negatived.

Question, That the proposed words be there added, put forthwith pursuant to Standing Order No. 33 (Questions on amendments) and agreed to.

Mr. Deputy Speaker-- forthwith declared the main Question, as amended, to be agreed to.


That this House congratulates the Government on developing a balanced transport policy which recognises the economic importance to the United Kingdom of its rail, road and air network ; welcomes the biggest programme of investment in British Rail for 25 years and the massive increase in investment in London Underground which will relieve congestion and meet the increased demand which is the result of the economic success of the United Kingdom ; welcomes the demanding quality of service objectives set by the Government ; welcomes the £1 billion which will be spent to ensure Britain's rail infrastructure is in place to service the Channel Tunnel when it opens in 1993 ; applauds the high priority that the Government gives to all matters of safety on transport ; and welcomes its recognition of the importance of the environment in transport policy.

Column 367

Tobacco (Sale to Children)

Motion made, and Question proposed, That this House do now adjourn.-- [Mr. Kenneth Carlisle.]

10.13 pm

Mr. John Home Robertson (East Lothian) : I am grateful for the opportunity to raise the massive problem of illegal tobacco sales to children. I hope that the Minister will take the opportunity to announce initiatives to deal with that scandal. Hon. Members in all parts of the House are concerned about it, as witnessed by the fact that despite the usual exodus at this time of night a number of hon. Members have remained in the Chamber.

I have a particular interest in the subject because the legislation which is supposed to ban sales of cigarettes and all tobacco to children, the Protection of Children (Tobacco) Act 1986, began as a private Member's Bill which I introduced. It had two objectives : first, to include products such as Skoal Bandits in the legal definition of tobacco--I pay tribute to the Government for banning that product altogether--and, secondly, to clarify and strengthen the legislation supposed to have banned tobacco sales to children since 1933. The 1986 legislation swept away the condition which used to allow any retailer to justify tobacco sales to children on the ground that he thought that the tobacco was intended for use by an adult. It also gave the courts a mandatory duty to deal with cigarette vending machines used by youngsters.

My Bill received universal support at that time, including a very strong speech on Second Reading by the hon. Member for Surrey, South-West (Mrs. Bottomley), the present Minister for Health. Having passed the Bill, we were entitled to expect the legislation to lead to action to deter the pushers who supply cigarettes to children. Unfortunately, virtually nothing has been done to enforce the law and the evil trade is continuing on a massive scale.

I have repeatedly asked Ministers what they are doing about enforcement of the 1986 Act, but the total lack of action over four years shows that the legislation has been effectively smothered by a tobacco industry smokescreen. The industry claims to be spending £1 million per year advertising the fact that children should not buy cigarettes, but at the same time it is cheerfully reaping the profits from £70 million worth of trade with those very children. Of course, catching them young is a long -term investment for an industry which is killing off its older customers at a rate of 300 per day, or 110,000 per year. The tobacco industry needs to attract 300 new customers per day just to replace its own victims, and since we know that 75 per cent. of adult smokers are hooked by the time they are 18 it really has to catch them young--and its £100 million budget for advertising and sports sponsorship is targeted accordingly.

The industry is running rings around the Government's voluntary restrictions on tobacco advertising. We all know that sports sponsorship is getting the cigarette sales pitch across in an increasingly insiduous manner, even on the BBC's television coverage of snooker, horse racing and motor sports. An advertising executive for Marlborough is quoted as having said in relation to that company's sponsorship of motor racing :

"What we wanted was to promote a particular image of adventure, courage and virility."

Yet there is supposed to be an agreement to avoid those very suggestions and implications in tobacco advertising.

Next Section

  Home Page