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Government moves to reduce smoking in children

The government has announced new measures which could reduce the number of people needing heart surgery and cancer treatment in the future.

Health minister Alan Johnson confirmed that laws will be introduced to ban cigarette displays in shops and place age restrictions on the use of tobacco vending machines.

The decision follows a consultation which attracted over 96,000 responses - the largest ever response to a consultation of its kind.

"Enticing multi-coloured displays encourage young people to start smoking - we must put a stop to this," Mr Johnson said.

Campaign group Ash as welcomed the government's announcement, noting that the removal of cigarettes from shop displays will virtually eliminate tobacco marketing.

However, the organisation wants to see tougher action on vending machines as 14 per cent of smokers under the age of 16 usually purchase their cigarettes from vending machines.

According to Cancer Research UK, 450 children take up smoking every day in the UK.

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