Cigarette vending machines are one step closer to being banned from pubs and bars today, after MPs voted to make the machines illegal last night.
The proposal was part of an amendment to the Health Bill put forward by Labour MP Ian McCartney and will now be voted on in the House of Lords.
If the bill is passed by The House of Lords an outright ban will mean pubs, many of which have already been negatively impacted by the smoking ban, will no longer be able to host vending machines on their premises.
The move has been hailed as a brave one and welcomed by health activists, including the British Heart Foundation which has been campaigning for a ban of vending machines in pubs.
Peter Hollins, chief executive at the British Heart Foundation, said: "Consigning vending machines to the scrapheap will cut off an easy supply of cigarettes to children.
"This policy must be carried out across the UK as soon as possible to stop the all-too-easy gateway to a lifetime addiction to cigarettes."
But pub industry bodies such as the British Beer and Pub Association have said that the measures are another unwarranted obstacle to already-beleaguered pub industry.
A spokesperson from the BBPA said: "It's unnecessary, and will make life even more difficult for hard-pressed publicans. Vending machines are well supervised, and governed by a tough code. Publicans are well used to selling a product restricted by age, and don't need further restrictions."
By Rosie Birkett
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