Northern Ireland has followed the precedent set by England and Wales by banning the sale of tobacco products from vending machines, in an attempt to make it more difficult for young people to purchase it! The ban which was put in place on 1st March will also help to protect young people from the long term ill-effects of tobacco use including the risk of mouth cancer.
In a speech last year the Health minister, Edwin Poots revealed that for 14% of 11-16 year olds, cigarette vending machines were the usual source of obtaining tobacco.
A recent survey by the British Dental Health Foundation revealed around 1 in 7 of 12-16 year olds in the UK admitted to smoking. While 97% of young people knew the harmful effects, only half would change their ways.
Smoking is the major cause of mouth cancer in the UK. Drinking excess alcohol and poor diet are also contributing factors for mouth cancer, which is predicted to affect 60,000 people in the UK over the next decade!