Time almost up for tobacco displays
Newsagents, pubs, clubs and small shops will have to stop displaying tobacco products from Monday April 6.
Large businesses have had to cover their tobacco displays since 2012, but small businesses have been given extra time to prepare for the change in the law.
The ban is aimed at reducing the uptake of smoking among young people in particular by removing eye-catching tobacco displays. Smokers will still be able to buy their cigarettes and tobacco from small shops, as they do now, and the new rules will not limit availability.
Surveys have consistently shown strong public support for a ban on the display of tobacco products. A 2010 survey by Cancer Research UK found 73% support for the removal of point of sale displays.
Speaking during a visit to a Cardiff newsagents, Deputy Health Minister Vaughan Gething said:
“The most effective approach to tobacco control is a comprehensive strategy which combines high taxation of tobacco products, the regulation of tobacco advertising and sales, restrictions on smoking in public places, a tailored range of initiatives to help smokers give up and public awareness-raising initiatives.
“Young people in particular can be influenced by seeing cigarettes on display and they can also tempt adults who are trying to give up. This legislation will make an important contribution to protecting the future health and wellbeing of children and young people in Wales.
“The tobacco display ban regulations will affect thousands of shops and with less than a month to go until it comes into force, I urge retailers to make sure they are ready, ensuring they have prepared their premises and briefed all staff.”
There are a number of low-cost ways retailer can make sure their tobacco displays comply with the regulations, including installing a curtain or sliding door. If in any doubt, retailers can contact their trade body or their local authority trading standards department for advice.
Wales’ Heads of Trading Standards has said it will help businesses to comply with the legislation and provide advice on cost-effective display solutions, which will comply with the new law. Enforcement officers are unlikely to take immediate action if a business is unaware of the legislation or if the business has made a genuine attempt to cover the display.
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