TPD Already Damaging Tobacco Retailers

Tobacco retailers are already beginning to feel the effect of the EU’s Tobacco Products Directive ahead of May 20, the date when the TPD is thoroughly implemented.

According to a survey conducted by the Tobacco Retailers’ Alliance just before the budget was announced, 60% of small retailers said the new standardised plain packing and other new regulations was already damaging sales.

Plain packaging is one of the TPD’s biggest changes, along with a ban on cigarette packs with under 20 cigarettes and rolling tobacco of less than 30g.

Nearly 100% of participants said there was too much tax on tobacco and 62% revealed that they knew illicit tobacco was being sold via the black market. It appears that the TPD is already taking its toll on small tobacco retailers.

“These results confirm what we have long feared; that the banning of small packs and the introduction of plain packaging is having a detrimental impact on many small retailers,” said national spokesman for the Tobacco Retailers Alliance, Cllr Suleman Khonat.

“Small retailers also believe that tax on tobacco is too high. We know that high tax is leading to the boom in black market tobacco that takes business away from legitimate traders.”

The research also found that customers who could no longer purchase smaller packs could buy from alternative sources.

It emerged last month that some tobacco manufacturers were fighting cigarette packaging restrictions.


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