London, April 6 (IANS) A new legislation banning open display of cigarettes in British supermarkets came into effect Friday, meaning the cigarettes and tobacco products must be hidden away in any large store, with others to follow suit by 2015.
The ban is hoped to help smokers quit and discourage youngsters from taking up the habit, The Sun reported.
Tobacco products must now be kept behind screen or under counters following the ban coming into effect.
Smoking results in 80,000 preventable deaths and costs Britain's National Health Services (NHS) 5 billion pounds a year. There are over 8 million smokers in Britain.
Health minister Anne Milton said: "We cannot ignore the fact that young people are recruited into smoking by colourful, eye-catching cigarette displays.
"Most adult smokers started smoking as teenagers, and we need to stop this trend.
"Banning displays of cigarettes and tobacco will help young people resist the pressure to start smoking and help the thousands of adults in England who are currently trying to quit."
Wales and Northern Ireland will implement similar bans by 2013.
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