The time is now: Join us in a nationwide movement to oppose and halt the draconian new tobacco laws
The government is threatening to pass an illiberal and drastic generational tobacco ban that would adversely impact the businesses of every independent store in the country, and also deprive consumers of their rights.
It is time to halt this legislation, but we must all speak up now or lose the chance to cancel a law that threatens the livelihood of every single independent retailer
If you’re against the proposed generational ban, have your say by signing an open letter to the Prime Minister opposing the proposed generational tobacco ban
For those of you who attended the Asian Trader Awards, you’ll have heard us speak about the proposed generational ban. For those who couldn’t make it, our message is clear:
There is no practical evidence it will work, nor support for retailers in place.
This legislation, which will ban future generations of adults from ever legally being sold tobacco products, will affect all retailers that sell tobacco products in the UK. It is imperative that you take the time now to understand the proposed changes, what this means for your business and how you can have your say.
The Government should not introduce this without considering the impact on you and your business – including:
- The economic impact by removing a significant source of turnover.
- The security impact of needing to assess whether the person seeking to buy tobacco is really 27 or 26.
- The impact to the communities in which you operate of a likely rise in illicit tobacco.
- And the personal impact to you, as retailers on the front line, in having to police grown and responsible adults who have had the right to a lawful product removed.
There is a limited period for retailers to have their say. The UK Government is consulting on the proposed legislation until the 6th December.
Sign this open letter to the UK Government and have your say
Dear Prime Minister,
We are writing to you as a group of more than 40,000 independent retailers, small businesses and corner shops across the UK to express our concern at your Government’s proposed generational smoking ban.
With coronavirus and high inflation hitting the profits of retailers, the last few years have been tough. We fear that your proposed generation tobacco sale ban will only make things worse. The additional pressure this impractical proposal would put upon a sector already characterised by long-hours, weekend and holiday working, as well as blighted by high and rising levels of abuse and theft, is a slap in the face for small- and medium-sized businesses which are often at the very centre of the local community.
The proposed generation ban will be incredibly difficult to enforce. It will mean that, by 2037, retailers will be expected to distinguish between 27 and 28-year-olds when deciding whom to sell tobacco products to. Staff in the retail sector already face hostility and abuse on a daily basis and the need to conduct a new raft of ID checks on adult customers risks causing yet more stress. And the personal impact to our staff, as retailers on the front line, in having to police grown and responsible adults having the right to a lawful product removed.
Illegal tobacco, which is already a huge problem in the UK with over 20% of all tobacco products in the UK being smuggled, will continue to grow, handing more and more of the UK tobacco market to criminals every year and fuelling the profits of organised gangs which blight our communities with crime, violence, and disorder.
Finally, tobacco sales account for around a fifth of turnover in small shops. Without this revenue, it is likely that many stores, especially in rural communities, will close.
We urge you to drop your generation ban proposal – and to stand up for small shops and retailers.
You can also:
- Contact your local MP to raise concerns directly – here.
- Respond directly to the consultation – here.
- The UK Government is running its consultation in conjunction with the Welsh Government, Scottish Government and Northern Ireland Department of Health. If you live in Wales, you can also contact your local MS here. If you live in Scotland, you can also contact your local MSP here.
The Government wants to hear from you so make sure you have your say.