§ Mr. Home Robertson
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what steps he has taken to implement and enforce the Protection of Children (Tobacco) Act 1986, and if he will make a statement.
§ Mrs. Currie
Circular LAC(86)14 was issued on 8 October to coincide with the coming into effect of the Act. The circular, a copy of which has been placed in the Library, was sent to all local authorities and local authority associations, chief education officers and teachers' associations, chief officers of police, chief probation officers and probation committees, voluntary organisations, professional training councils and district health education officers. The circular refers to research which showed that 80 per cent. of children who smoked said they bought their cigarettes in shops or from machines, and to the fact that there were only 26 convictions in 1985 for illegally selling cigarettes to children. It suggests that the new Act clarifies the law and simplifies its enforcement by putting all tobacco products, including oral tobacco in sachets, on the same footing as cigarettes.