Scramble to comply with new tobacco law

Cash and carry companies are urgently assessing their tobacco facilities and procedures after finally being given details on how the new laws on displaying tobacco products will affect them.

With less than four months to go until the law comes into effect in England on April 6 the Department of Health has still not published the legislation, but the FWD has intervened and has been able to obtain guidance on the likely implications for cash and carries.

As Wholesale News went to press it contacted a range of cash and carry companies and they all said they were urgently looking at the guidance and it was too early to say precisely what they would need to do to comply.

Several said the most difficult part would be preventing any view of tobacco products outside the tobacco room, meaning any on a customer’s trolley or deliveries being moved through the depot would have to be covered up.

Many depots will also have to put doors on their tobacco rooms to prevent anyone in the rest of the depot being able to see in, and staff will have to be trained how to comply with the new restrictions.

One cash and carry boss summed it up as “bags, doors and personnel”. He also pointed out that it would mean considerable expense and there was very little time to implement the changes.

The new law on April 6 will only affect cash and carries in England, although the governments of Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales are all working on similar legislation.

For details on the guidance see page 9

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