Standardised tobacco packaging in wholesale will not achieve Government’s aims

Standardised packaging for tobacco products will add an operational burden to wholesalers and their retail customers, but will do nothing to reduce smoking rates, the Federation of Wholesale Distributors (FWD) warned this week responding to the launch of the Government’s consultation on the proposals.

FWD chief executive James Bielby said the measures would be pointless as members of the public were not able to see tobacco products in the distribution chain: “Introducing standardised packaging for tobacco products in a wholesale or cash and carry environment makes absolutely no sense.

“Since the introduction earlier this month of new display rules, tobacco products can only be viewed by tobacco traders. Removing clear identification of manufacturer, brand and price in the distribution chain cannot possibly affect the public’s attitude to smoking, but it will create operational difficulties, confusion and delay for both wholesale depot staff and their customers. FWD believes it is not the Government’s intention to impose a burden on business which will not contribute towards the intended outcome of this proposal.”

New regulations on the display of cigarettes and rolling tobacco in cash and carry premises came into effect on April 6. Cash and carry depots must now have a separate tobacco room with access only for customers who sell tobacco. Products sold in this room must be covered when they are moved through other parts of the premises.

Don’t miss the May issue of Wholesale News when we’ll look at the effect of the new regulations in more detail.

For more information on the government consultation go to: http://consultations.dh.gov.uk/tobacco/standardised-packaging-of-tobacco-products/consult_view

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