September 16, 2010 - Figures seen by The Scotsman [national newspaper] show almost 90 percent of respondents who replied to a Scottish Government consultation request oppose the measure [tobacco display ban]. The most anger appears to have been generated among shopkeepers who believe their businesses are going to be hindered by the proposal.
Background: January 29, 2010 - In late January 2010 an end to the display of cigarettes and tobacco products in shops was approved by the Scottish parliament, along with a ban on cigarette sales from vending machines.April 26, 2010 - There will be a three-month consultation (will begin on 28 April and run until the end of July) on the proposals, which include:
Limiting displays during a sale to an area approximately the size of a cigarette packet.
Temporary, incidental, displays to be allowed while stocktaking, staff training, pricing and refurbishment are taking place – for no longer than necessary to undertake the activities.
Fixed penalty of £50 (76.34 USD) for people who buy, or attempt to buy, tobacco products for under-18s.
Fixed penalty of £200 (305.35 USD) for retailers, rising by £200 for every offence committed within a one-year period.
Displays will be allowed in cash and carry and duty-free premises, as long as the displays are in an area where only tobacco products for sale and which is not visible from other parts of the store.
The costs for refitting shops to comply with the display ban are estimated to start at £160 (244.287 USD) for a corner shop, rising to £320 (488.56 USD) for a medium-sized shop and £640 (977.04 USD) for a large store.
The display ban comes into force next year for large retailers and in 2013 for small shops.
Scotland - retailers can provide input on future to ban the display of tobaccoThey [shopkeepers] argue that people coming for cigarettes generates other business, while the costs of redesigning their shops will be on average £1,400 (2,192.78 USD) each.
Out of the 305 respondents to the Scottish Government consultation, 269 - 88.2 percent - opposed the measure with support mostly coming from NHS trusts and anti-smoking charities.
The opposition compares to 84 percent support for the same measure in England, although 75 percent of respondents to that consultation came from Department of Health funded bodies. (England, Wales to ban tobacco displays in shops..)
The measure, which has been passed with cross-party support at Holyrood [Scottish government], is meant to be the next stage in tackling smoking in Scotland following from the high-profile smoking ban in public buildings and offices. The ban is set to be introduced in supermarkets next year and small shops in 2013.
The medical lobby has argued strongly that displays in shops act as a form of advertising which entices children into smoking.
Critics of the proposed ban have argued that more needs to be done to stop rogue traders from selling cigarettes to underage smokers. The tobacco industry has raised concerns about the likelihood of smuggling increasing as a result of the ban.
John Drummond, chief executive of the Scottish Grocers' Federation, which represents many of Scotland's small shops said: "We have tried to engage constructively. But at times it appears the Scottish Government has not listened to our concerns. They have under-estimated the costs involved and the impact it will have on businesses." He added grocers are particularly angry that Holyrood proposes a new maximum size for a display area of 120sq cm, much smaller than the 7,500sq cm imposed in England and Wales.
Reference: Ash backlash after nine out of 10 reject tobacco display ban by David Maddox, NEWS.scotsman.com, 9/11/2010.
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