Shopkeepers urged to be ready for the big cover-up

Covered cigarette display
Covered cigarette display

WIGAN trading standards experts are urging smaller retailers to be aware of a new tobacco display law that comes into effect on Monday April 6.

From that date it will be illegal for small and medium size retailers to openly display cigarettes and tobacco to the public and the local authority officers who will be policing the new measure are urging these tobacco retailers to take action now so as not to be caught out.

Non-compliance with the new law is a criminal offence and any person, including shop managers and shop assistants are liable.

Not only will this law stop the display of tobacco products, it also changes the way in which tobacco products must be priced.

The legislation permits only three types of price lists and labels for tobacco products.

Julie Middlehurst, trading standards and licensing group manager at Wigan Council, said: “The tobacco display ban for smaller retailers comes into effect in April and is an important part of the objective to stop young people taking up smoking. Larger retailers have had to comply with the same change to the law since 2012 and compliance levels have been high.”

Coun Kevin Anderson, cabinet member for environment at Wigan Council, said: “Evidence shows that colourful and eye-catching tobacco displays in shops can promote the uptake of smoking by young people and undermine the resolve of adults who are trying to quit smoking.

“It is important to protect children and young people from the unsolicited promotion of tobacco products.”

Guidance on the regulations can be found at www.businesscompanion.info and then search for “display.”

If you are a local retailer and are still unsure about what you need to do, ring Wigan Council Trading Standards on 01942 827476.