Shops fear new laws could be the end of them

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Small local shops already threatened by recent increases of huge supermarkets now have to join them with legal restrictions on their displays of tobacco.

As from last Monday (April 6), all shops are prohibited from displaying tobacco products on their shelves, a ban particularly felt by smaller stores such as Peterculter’s post office and general shop which is already facing possible competition if the construction of a proposed local Co-op goes ahead.

The prohibition on ‘point of sale’ tobacco displays has had a long journey throughout the UK since the idea was introduced in 2003 after evidence showed that children are more likely to smoke when exposed to in-store tobacco marketing. Apparently, 200,000 youngsters begin smoking between the ages of 11 -15. Under the Health Act 2009, after widespread consultations, tobacco displays were banned from April 6, 2012, in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Scotland proposed similar bans through Tobacco & Primary Medical Services (Scotland) 2010, but this was delayed due to a legal challenge by the tobacco industry which was subsequently rejected by the Scottish High Court.