Supermarket starts to cover up its cigarettes

Corby Asda tobacco kiosk shuttered: '07/02/12
Corby Asda tobacco kiosk shuttered: '07/02/12

A county supermarket has already placed tobacco products away from public display ahead of a nationwide ban to protect young people.

Supermarkets will not be allowed to display cigarettes when the ban is introduced on April 6.

Asda in Phoenix Parkway, Corby, is among the first to install shutters, which also bear the Challenge 25 logo, to hide the products from public view.

The Department of Health believes the move will protect youngsters from the temptation of starting smoking.

But smaller shops do not have to change their displays until 2015.

Residents welcomed the move but questioned what its impact would be.

Harry Graham, 73, of Chestnut Avenue, Corby, said: “I think it’s a good idea in the sense that people will eventually forget about cigarettes because they won’t see any there.

“I don’t think it will make a difference to smokers. I am an ex-smoker and seeing cigarettes on the shelf doesn’t really bother me. As regards to the health side I think it’s a good idea.”

Neil Taylor, secretary of Corby Airways, a support group for people with breathing difficulties, said the restrictions should immediately apply to all sized shops.

He said: “I think it’s a brilliant idea, especially being an ex-smoker myself with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.”

Mr Taylor, 63, of Epsom Walk, Corby, said: “I don’t think it will stop smokers but it will deter youngsters in seeing what they are going to get.

“When they get groups like mine suffering all sorts of pulmonary diseases, most of them say they regret starting in first place.”

The Corby supermarket installed the shutters last week two months before the new regulations.

An Asda spokesman said: “We trialled the tobacco screens in a number of stores last year and have now begun rolling out to all stores ahead of the April 6 deadline.”