From this week all open tobacco displays in shops must be covered up. That’s the message to Warwickshire retailers from Warwickshire County Council’s Trading Standards Service, the body responsible for enforcing the law.
Large businesses have been required to cover their tobacco displays since 2012, but from 6th April 2015, the law was extended to all businesses selling tobacco products to the public, including those in the hospitality industry and premises licenced for the “on trade”, such as pubs and clubs.
Retailers have been preparing and Trading Standards Officers are already advising businesses on what they need to do to comply with the law.
Paul Hooper, Group Manager: Community Safety and Substance Misuse, said:
“Those of us who work in Warwickshire to reduce the harm caused by smoking are delighted that tobacco products will be removed from public view in all shops. This is a significant part of a range of measures to protect children from tobacco marketing.
Tobacco marketing will be virtually eliminated by the display ban, protecting both children and smokers who may be trying to quit.”
Janet Faulkner, Head of Warwickshire Trading Standards added: “Trading Standards Officers are continuing to support local businesses to comply with this new law and answer any questions they have, particularly about how prices should be displayed to customers and how the brands can be identified.”
“Businesses needing help, advice and information can contact Warwickshire Trading Standards via Citizens Advice on 03454 040506.”
Key points for tobacco retailers
• The law applies to all businesses selling tobacco to the public
• When tobacco is retrieved, the maximum area that can be displayed is 1.5 square metres
• The law allows 3 types of price lists and labels for which there are specific rules: one A3 poster titled ‘tobacco products price list’, a product catalogue and price labels on shelving
• The law does not cover tobacco accessories such as matches, lighters and rolling papers
• Unbranded generic signs such as ‘Tobacco sold here’ are allowed
• There are separate arrangements for specialist tobacconists and bulk tobacconists recognising the specialist nature of their businesses
• More information, including details of the specific rules related to price lists and labels.
Ending permanent tobacco displays aims to help to reduce the numbers of young people taking up smoking, and to help smokers who are trying to quit by removing a source of temptation to buy cigarettes on impulse. Smoking causes nearly 80,000 premature deaths each year in England alone and 66% of regular smokers started smoking before the age of 18.
Evidence shows that colourful and eye-catching tobacco displays in shops can promote the uptake of smoking by young people and undermine the resolve of adults who are trying to quit smoking. Adult smoking rates are now at their lowest ever levels and the latest figures show that only 8% of 15 year old pupils are regular smokers, compared with 22% in 2003.
Now might be the ideal time to make another quit attempt. Those who use the Warwickshire Stop Smoking Service are four times more likely to be successful than trying on their own. Find out more at Smoke Free Warwickshire or call 0800 085 2917 or text LIFE to 80800