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Advertisements (Smoking)

Volume 655: debated on Tuesday 13 March 1962

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asked the Postmaster-General, in view of the danger to health involved in cigarette smoking, recent evidence of which is contained in the Report of the Royal College of Physicians, a copy of which has been sent to him, if he will take steps to amend the Second Schedule to the Television Act, 1954, to deal with cigarette advertising.

As mentioned yesterday by my right hon. Friend the Minister of Health, the Government are studying the measures recommended in the Report of the Royal College of Physicians which include restriction of tobacco advertising. My right hon. Friend cannot make any statement at this stage with regard to such advertising on television.

But has not the hon. Lady herself observed the linking of romance, sex appeal and cigarette smoking in a deliberate appeal to young people on this the most powerful medium for influencing ideas the world has ever known? Should not the Government at least implement this part of the Royal College's Report by completely banning cigarette advertising on television?

We all have this problem very much in mind, but my right hon. Friend cannot make any further statement at the present time.

Can we have an early statement from the Postmaster-General on this aspect? Is it not rather silly to send out circulars to local authorities begging them to take action while at the same time the television programmes are counteracting the effect of those circulars?

My right hon. Friend is looking at this matter with the greatest urgency.

Will the hon. Lady represent to the I.T.A. that it might try to find actors who are capable of acting on television without continually having cigarettes in their mouths, or bottles or glasses in their hands?

I am sure that the Authority will take note of the right hon. Gentleman's remarks.