Scotland - retailers can provide input on future to ban the display of tobacco..

April 26, 2010 - Ministers will unveil detailed plans on Tuesday, April 27th for a consultation on how the ban is going to work.

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.

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.

Shona Robison, the public health minister, said: “Cigarettes kill and we’re determined to do all we can both to help people quit and dissuade today’s children from becoming tomorrow’s smokers. It’s a stark fact that a child who starts smoking at 14 or younger is five times more likely to die of lung cancer than someone who starts to smoke at age 24 or over.

“The ban on cigarette displays, coupled with a ban on the sale of cigarettes from vending machines, is designed to make cigarettes less attractive and less accessible to children. I know some retailers had concerns about proposals to ban cigarette displays but the display ban is now law and I would urge retailers to use this consultation as an opportunity to shape the future of tobacco retailing in Scotland.”

Under the Tobacco and Primary Medical Services (Scotland) Act, which received Royal Assent earlier this year, it is an offence for a shop to display tobacco products or smoking-related products (cigarette papers, tubes, filters and holders, as well as apparatus for making cigarettes and pipes for smoking tobacco).

Specialist tobacconists are exempt from the legislation. To qualify as a specialist tobacconist, at least half of a shop’s income must come from the sale of cigars, snuff, pipe tobacco and smoking accessories – not including cigarettes.

Reference: Shops to have say over crackdown on tobacco displays by Hamish Macdonell, Caledonian Mercury, 4/25/2010.

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April 26, 2010 at 5:18 PM