South Ayrshire Council is reminding tobacco sellers that the ban preventing the display of tobacco products to the public will be extended to all retailers from Monday 6 April – Easter Monday.
From this date, small and medium-sized retailers will face the same restrictions as bigger stores, which ban the display of cigarette packets, tobacco pouches, cigars, cigarette papers and other smoking-related products within shops, at serving areas or in shop windows.
Retailers already need to be registered to sell tobacco products; however they will now need to conceal any tobacco products by the use of screens, flaps or simply by storing them out of sight.
The restrictions coincide with the introduction of new rules on advertising tobacco products for sale and displaying tobacco prices to the public.
Councillor John McDowall, Portfolio Holder for Sustainability and Environment, said: "The extension of the display ban is designed to encourage smokers to quit and discourage potential smokers, especially young people, from taking up the habit. That's a big task, especially when you consider that in Ayrshire and Arran alone, 4% of 13-year-olds and 14% of 15-year-olds* claim to be regular or occasional smokers.
(Figures from the Scottish Schools and Adolescent Lifestyles and Substance Abuse Survey 2013 (SALSUS) published by the Scottish Government on 25 November 2014)
"The changes in legislation have been well-publicised, and we know from ongoing dialogue with our retailers that most businesses are prepared for the ban. However, our trading standards officers will be undertaking inspection visits after 6 April to ensure sellers are complying and to provide any required advice and assistance.
"I sincerely hope the display ban has the desired effect and – combined with our work on the public places' smoking ban, under age sales and the sale of illicit tobacco – helps minimise the likelihood of our residents taking up smoking."
Retailers or businesses who require further help or advice on the tobacco display – or any other trading standards issue – should contact the Council on 01292 616060 or by email at email@example.com.
The figures quoted by Councillor McDowall are from the Scottish Schools and Adolescent Lifestyles and Substance Abuse Survey 2013 (SALSUS) published by the Scottish Government on 25 November 2014.