More

    Retailers in favour of mandatory licence to sell tobacco: ASH survey

    A new survey by health charity Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) has found that the majority of tobacco retailers support existing tobacco laws and also tougher regulations in future.

    The report by ASH, titled ‘Regulation is not a dirty word‘, also reveals strong support among retailers for a levy on tobacco manufacturers to pay for measures to help smokers quit, and raising the age of sale to 21.

    “I’m not the exception, this survey proves what I have always believed, that the majority of retailers support tobacco regulations and want them to go further,” said John McClurey, a retired local retailer in Gateshead who has written the Foreword to the report.

    “We know that smoking is bad for smokers, and it’s bad for business too as it kills our customers. Tougher regulation would help stop underage sales and sales of cheap and illicit tobacco, and is the only way to bring about the end of smoking. The government should listen to shopkeepers like me and take the tough action needed to deliver a Smokefree 2030.”

    Key findings from the survey of 961 independent tobacco retailers – including newsagents, convenience stores, off-licences and petrol stations – include:

    • 73% support a requirement for tobacco manufacturers to pay a fee to the government for measures to help smokers quit and prevent young people from taking up smoking. (10% oppose)
    • 54% support raising the age of sale for cigarettes from 18 to 21 years (27% oppose)
    • 81% of local retailers in England support the introduction of a mandatory retail licence in order to sell tobacco (9% oppose)
    • 83% support mandatory age verification for anyone under 25 (5% oppose)

    Furthermore nearly three quarters (71%) support larger fines for breaking the law, 81% support more regular checks by trading standards staff, 84% support quicker action when offences take place and 79% support closure orders for repeated breaches of tobacco laws.

    Commenting on the report, Bob Blackman, chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Smoking and Health, has called on the government to listen to tobacco retailers.

    “The main argument used by tobacco manufacturers’ against tobacco laws with politicians like me is that they harm small shops. What this survey of nearly 1,000 shopkeepers published today shows is that shopkeepers don’t think that’s true. The majority support existing regulations and want government to go further including by raising the age of sale for tobacco to 21,” Blackman said.

    The Tory MP has secured the first backbench debate under the new government, discussing today (3 November) the recommendations from Javed Khan’s independent review of smokefree 2030 policies, published in June.

    “On Thursday in a debate in the main chamber I will be calling on the government to publish a Tobacco Control Plan to deliver the smokefree 2030 ambition without further delay. I’ll be urging the government to listen to retailers who want government to implement tougher regulations, that’s what they think will be good for business, not de-regulation,” he added.

    There is currently no licensing scheme in place for tobacco, and no mandatory age verification both of which are supported by over eight in ten local retailers of tobacco.

    “Retailers aren’t anti-regulation, they know that good regulation can make their lives easier by ensuring there’s a level playing field. That’s why they want to see the gaping hole in retail regulation closed through the introduction of a mandatory tobacco licence backed up by stronger penalties for breaking the law,” Deborah Arnott, chief executive of ASH, said.

    John Herriman, chief executive of Chartered Trading Standards Institute, added: “Trading Standards professionals deal with tobacco retailers every day, and we know that the majority of them are law abiding, and understand the need for increased enforcement to stop unscrupulous traders willing to sell cheap and illicit tobacco, and to sell to children. A mandatory licence to sell tobacco and age verification for anyone who looks under 25 would make it easier for trading standards to enforce the law, to the benefit of reputable retailers.”

    Latest

    Number of Brits mainly using cash jumps unexpectedly

    There has been a spike in the number of...

    Valeo Foods acquires Canadian maple syrup business Appalaches Nature

    Valeo Foods Group, one of Europe’s leading producers of...

    New Four Loko Pink Melon – for a taste of summer

    Vodka-based RTD brand Four Loko has unveiled its latest...

    Ice-cream prices soar up by more than 30 per cent: Which?

    Price of popular ice-creams and lollies have soared by...

    Don't miss

    Number of Brits mainly using cash jumps unexpectedly

    There has been a spike in the number of...

    Valeo Foods acquires Canadian maple syrup business Appalaches Nature

    Valeo Foods Group, one of Europe’s leading producers of...

    New Four Loko Pink Melon – for a taste of summer

    Vodka-based RTD brand Four Loko has unveiled its latest...

    Ice-cream prices soar up by more than 30 per cent: Which?

    Price of popular ice-creams and lollies have soared by...

    Local stores raise alarm as shop theft figures touch record high levels

    Shoplifting offences have increased to a new 20 year...

    Number of Brits mainly using cash jumps unexpectedly

    There has been a spike in the number of people who mainly use cash for their daily spending, a new report has found. The banking...

    Valeo Foods acquires Canadian maple syrup business Appalaches Nature

    Valeo Foods Group, one of Europe’s leading producers of sweets, treats and snacks, has completed the acquisition of Appalaches Nature, a Canadian maple syrup...

    Ice-cream prices soar up by more than 30 per cent: Which?

    Price of popular ice-creams and lollies have soared by more than 30 per cent over the past two years, states a recent report, highlighting...