THE RETAIL BULLETIN - The home of retail news
Department Stores
Shopping Centres & Retail Parks
Home & DIY
Health & Beauty
General Merchandise
Sports & Leisure
Retail Solutions
Food & Drink
Tobacco display ban unnecessary burden

Enforcing a display ban on tobacco products at a time when a requirement for plain tobacco packaging is still being considered risks pointless duplication, adding to the burdens on retailers of all sizes.


Tobacco display ban unnecessary burden

Responding to an announcement by Health Secretary Andrew Lansley that he will implement legislation in England banning shop displays of cigarettes, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) says there is no evidence this will make a difference to smoking habits.

The Government's right to look at how to reduce the harm from smoking but its focus should be on tackling the influence friends and family members have over young people's decisions and their access to tobacco.

Food Director at the British Retail Consortium, Andrew Opie, said: "Retailers support efforts to reduce the harm caused by smoking but there's no evidence that forcing shops to put cigarettes out of sight will make any difference. It puts new costs on retailers who are being forced to refit their stores, and will inconvenience customers who have to wait longer to be served.

"Giving retailers longer to prepare for this legislation is helpful, but there is a much bigger issue to be addressed. If the Government aims to introduce plain packaging then a display ban is unnecessary.

"It doesn't make sense to enact one part of this plan while another is still under discussion. Banning shop displays of cigarettes in plain packets is pointless duplication. What should be looked at is the influence family members and friends have on youngsters' decisions to start smoking, and their access to tobacco."

The BRC is asking the Government to tighten up the law on the purchasing of tobacco products so the same rules apply as for alcohol. It is not currently illegal for a child to try to buy cigarettes or for an adult to buy tobacco products for a child.

BRC Food Director Andrew Opie said: "Retailers take their responsibilities seriously when selling tobacco products but the law sends out a contradictory message. If children know they won't get into trouble if they attempt to buy cigarettes they can keep trying their luck time and again.

"As with alcohol, it should be illegal for under-age children to try to buy cigarettes. Adults who buy cigarettes on their behalf should also face prosecution. At the moment, it is only the retailers who face punishment."

Email this article to a friend

You need to be logged in to use this feature.

Please log in here

Subscribe For Retail News


Retail Human Resources Summit
Retail Human Resources Summit
Wednesday 3 October 2018
The Cavendish Conference Centre, London W1
The 10th HR Summit 2018, The Cavendish Conference Centre, London W1, 3rd October 2018
The Retail Design Summit 2018
The Retail Design Summit 2018
14 November 2018
The Cavendish Conference Centre
The Retail Design Summit 2018
Omnichannel Futures Conference 2019
Omnichannel Futures Conference 2019
6 February 2019
Cavendish Conference Centre, London WG1 9DT
A truly omnichannel offering requires an understanding of customer behaviour across all shopping channels and how this should impact your overall business strategy
Customer Engagement Conference 2019
Customer Engagement Conference 2019
5 June 2019
Cavendish Conference Centre, London W1
The 10th Annual Retail Customer Engagement Summit
National Minimum Wage Breakfast Briefing
National Minimum Wage Breakfast Briefing
20 September 2018
6th Floor 1, St. Martin's Le Grand London, EC1A 4AS
National Minimum Wage Breakfast Briefing