Doctors in Northern Ireland have welcomed the NI Health Minister's announcement today, Monday 29 October 2007, to consult on raising the age for the purchase of tobacco products here.
Dr Colin Hamilton, Chairman of the BMA's Public Health Committee in Northern Ireland, said: "We are pleased that the NI Health Minister, Michael McGimpsey MLA, has decided to go out to consultation on raising the age of sale of tobacco products.
"BMA(NI) will be responding to this consultation and will be recommending that legislation be introduced to raise the minimum age of sale to 18.
"We are also calling for legislation to ban the sale of packs of 10 cigarettes and that a positive licensing scheme, already in place in shops that wish to sell alcohol, be introduced.
"On the basis of research, we recommend that cigarettes should not be displayed at the point of sale and tobacco vending machines should be banned."