asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will take into consideration the report on the prospects of increased cigarette sales which includes the information that cigarette sales have recovered nationally to a greater extent than seemed likely in July, a copy of which has been sent to him by the hon. Member for Willesden, West, when reviewing the agreement into which be entered with the tobacco industry.
In discussion with the industry I will take account of all that is relevant. But a survey carried out for my Department in July indicated a 6 per cent. drop since last year in the number of people who smoke; a further survey was carried out in October and indicated that this drop has been maintained and may even have been slightly improved upon. Estimates for consumers' expenditure on cigarettes which have been obtained independently of this survey also show that there has been little change since July in the volume of cigarettes sold (in millions of lbs.); in July this was 5·6 per cent. down on last year, and in September it was 5·5 per cent. down.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services why the cigarette advertisement in the Observer Magazine, a copy of which has been sent to him by the hon. Member for Willesden, West, did not conform with his agreement with the tobacco industry; and what action he now proposes.
The advertisement to which the hon. Member referred was not inconsistent with my agreement with the tobacco manufacturers since it related to a brand of cigarettes which is only just starting to carry the health warning. When the agreement was reached, it was understood that it would be some months before all the packets of cigarettes leaving the manufacturers could be so marked. This stage is expected to be reached by the end of the year.