Cigarette companies have been accused of planning to exploit loopholes in the law to continue promoting their brands, after a ban on advertising comes into effect today.
The Independent said anti-tobacco campaigners warn of weaknesses in the Bill banning advertising on billboards and in the media to allow them to promote cigarettes. And that tobacco firms have an advertising budget of £100m at their disposal, which could be used to promote cigarettes in shops and through "brand stretching". This allows them to produce clothing, boots and other non-tobacco products as long as they are not explicitly linked to smoking. It can also involve promoting music, nightclubs, cafes, clothing production and even coffee and alcohol.
Another loophole will allow tobacco firms to send consumers information and promotional material about cigarettes if they request it, the report said.