Imperial plans to fight cigarette vending ban

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The Independent Online

Imperial Tobacco plans to appeal against a ruling by the High Court yesterday which upheld the Government's plan to ban vending machines in order to stop children buying cigarettes.

The National Association of Cigarette Machine Operators (Nacmo) argued that there was absolutely no need to impose the ban because it had designed and developed a fail-safe radio frequency system which "locked" machines and prevented minors from making a purchase. But a judge ruled against the operators.

The ban is due to be introduced from 1 October and would affect about 50,000 vending machines. Nacmo says the industry's annual margin is about £102m.