03 April 2012

Northamptonshire County Council’s trading standards service is reminding shops about the upcoming new law regarding the display of tobacco.

As of 6th April 2012, supermarkets and other large shops will no longer have cigarettes and other tobacco products on display, except when serving customers or other tasks where the tobacco will have to be revealed. People may already have noticed the new arrangements as they are introduced by large supermarkets ahead of the change in law.

Tobacco price lists will also have changes as they now have to be in a plain format with no tobacco branding on them.

The new legislation is part of Department of Health plans to keep tobacco out of sight to deter young people from smoking and help others to kick the habit.

All shops will have to change but smaller shops will not have to cover up their cigarettes and tobacco products until 6th April 2015 as part of government efforts to help small businesses by allowing a three-year freeze on new regulations for them.

County council, cabinet member for environment Councillor Ben Smith said: “Current research suggests that half of all long-term smokers will die from a tobacco-related disease and most become addicted as teenagers which demonstrates the importance of protecting future generations of children by discouraging smoking including by reducing the merchandising of tobacco.

"Trading standards will be working closely with retailers to ensure they are complying with the new legislation and to offer advice as well as continuing to follow up any incidences of underage sales.”