Thursday, 17 July 2008

Retailers protest at government proposals to ban tobacco displays in stores

Retailers are protesting at Government proposals to ban or restrict the display of tobacco products in stores across the UK, according to a survey of 1,000 independent stores carried out by trade magazine Independent Retail News.

On May 31 the UK government launched its consultation on the Future of Tobacco Control, which closes on September 8. Also in May, the Scottish Government launched a Smoking Prevention Action Plan, which includes similar proposals such as banning of tobacco products on display behind the counter, banning packs of cigarettes less than 20 and banning tobacco vending machines.

Highlights of the survey include:* 85% of retailers oppose the moves* 89% fear high costs of new gantries and conversions as sales go under the counter* 79% say sales will fall* 78% fear sales of fake cigarettes will rise* 79% say security is issueMost retailers in England, Northern Ireland and Wales, 84.4%, said they did not agree with the proposal to ban displays.