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Tobacco ban claims spark outrage

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Doctors’ leaders in Scotland have attacked the tobacco industry over a series of ‘spurious’ claims about a proposal to ban cigarette displays in shops.

The tobacco manufacturers claimed a ban would ‘cost votes’ for ministers at Holyrood as they prepared to consider tough new legislation.

But the British Medical Association has hit out at the industry over its ‘deadly products’ and claimed it was only interested in ‘protecting profits’.

The Tobacco Retailers Alliance said that the display ban in the Scottish Government’s proposed Tobacco and Primary Medical Services Bill will ‘cost votes’ in a submission to Holyrood’s Health Committee. The bill would also ban cigarette vending machines to help stop children from getting their hands on smoking products.

Following the claims the ban would be unpopular among voters, Dr Peter Terry, chairman of BMA Scotland, said: ‘Before politicians make decisions based on these spurious claims, they must consider the motives.

‘The fears expressed by retailers simply reinforce our argument that point of sale displays are a form of advertising,’ he said.

‘It would seem that the industry - both retailers and tobacco producers - are primarily worried about how they can continue to attract people to buy these deadly products simply to protect their profits,’ he added.

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