20th March 2011
Small retailers have reacted angrily to news that the ban on tobacco displays in shops is going ahead, despite their cost concerns.
According to the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS), the decision to ban retailers from displaying tobacco products openly at the point of sale will cost small shops £40 million. Costs would include fitting flaps over existing gantries or installing new cabinets.
The Tobacco Authority and Promotion (Display) Regulations 2010 were originally passed in March 2010. The ban was confirmed this month in the Department of Health report Healthy Lives, Healthy People: Tobacco Control Plan for England, after a review of the regulations.
However, following a consultation the Government has delayed implementation of the ban for small retailers, from 2013 to 2015.
“We are disappointed that the Government is pressing ahead with a tobacco display ban, imposing £40 million of costs on small retailers.”
said ACS chief executive, James Lowman.
“There simply isn’t the evidence to suggest that the measure will reduce smoking among young people. The concessions made are not sufficient to allay the cost and disruption that this measure will impose on local shops.”
The DoH has estimated that the changes — including new equipment, fitting and a possible increase in the time it takes to serve customers — will cost around £1,000 per retailer.
A DoH spokesman said that the effect of the ban on small firms had been considered.
“We do realise the ban has an impact on small businesses and we have made concessions. However, the priority is to improve public health.”
For full details see The Tobacco Advertising and Promotion (Display) (England) Regulations 2010.