Province ‘may be left out of smoking law’

Smoking law
Smoking law

There are just days remaining for Northern Ireland to opt in to a planned law to curb cigarette advertising.

The Children and Families Bill, now working its way through Westminster, could give the power to remove branding from packs.

Both Cancer Research UK and NI Chest Heart and Stroke warned yesterday that the Province could end up being the only part of the United Kingdom where this measure would not come into force. The bill is expected to reach its final stage in early February.

Neil Johnston, from NI Chest Heart and Stroke, said for the Province to be included, the issue must come before the Assembly by Tuesday. Last night, the Department of Health said moves were under way to bring a Legislative Consent Motion before the Assembly, subject to approval by the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister.