Tobacco Display Ban in Small Retailers 6 April 2015

The tobacco display ban will commence on 6 April 2015 in small retail establishments. This means retailers will have to remove open displays from their stores. With this new legislation, the government hopes to decrease the number of smokers in the UK and help people quit smoking.

In March 2011 the government passed legislation for changes to how tobacco will be displayed in shops. In large stores, the regulations were enforced on 6 April 2012 whilst smaller retail shops had a longer deadline of three more years to enact the changes. These new laws hope to cut the number of smokers. The government hopes by the end of 2015, the percentage of adult smokers will decline to less than 18.5%.

The display ban, in particular, seems to be trying to discourage children and pregnant women from smoking.

Without open display cases for cigarettes, this suggests the government is optimising an “out of sight, out of mind” approach.

The loss of a profitable consumer product such as cigarettes would suggest the display ban will have a negative effect on retailers.

However in an article by Cancer Research UK they claim from research conducted by King’s College London that the new implementation of the law will not drastically affect small retailers as retail owners admit they receive a small profit from selling cigarettes. Cigarettes continue to be considered as an important part of retail but it is not as profitable in open display shops as it used to be.

The tobacco business still continues to profit but the long term decline of sales seems to provide less benefit to small retailers.

How can you make sure your retail shop is ready for the changes?

The NFRN, the voice of the independent retailer , has released information to help retailers prepare for the changes.

The NFRN claims, overall, the legislation is not entirely specific on the guidelines shop owners must follow. Shops can still sell cigarettes but they must be out of the visual view of the customer.

They say, “Across the whole of the UK, cigarettes, cigars and rolling tobacco will be required to be stored out of sight of the public.”

There are slight changes between the regulations for England, Wales and Northern Ireland compared to Scotland but the demand to ban tobacco displays is throughout the UK.

Failing to adhere to the new legislation will result in prosecution.

As well as banning the selling of cigarettes in large and small retailers, the government is also standardising cigarette packaging in a bid to reduce the number of smokers.

The health of the public is evidently in the government’s mind as they continue to try and deter people from smoking or help them give up the habit.

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