12 August 2015

Pubs and clubs – get ready for new rules on tobacco sales

Pubs and clubs need to make changes to how they display and sell cigarettes and cigars from next month to make sure that they comply with new regulations on the sale of tobacco products.

The changes began three years ago, when large retailers had to change the way they sold tobacco products so that cabinets containing cigarettes, tobacco and cigars could no longer openly display the products. It also became illegal even to show the products to anyone under 18.

Now the rules apply to everyone who sells tobacco products, including pubs and clubs.

For licensed premises, this will prevent cigarette packets and other tobacco products from being displayed behind the bar; instead, they must be kept out of sight of customers. They will only be permitted to be displayed when staff are serving them to customers, re-stocking, or being trained.

Also, all price lists and labels for tobacco products must be in specific formats so that they cannot be used as a form of tobacco promotion. For instance, one specific font for the printing of price labels and information will be allowed, and the size of print, labels and posters advertising the sale of tobacco will be restricted.

Contravention of the new laws could lead to a fine and/or imprisonment; the sale of tobacco to anyone under 18 also encompasses two offences, one of ‘display’ of tobacco and one of underage sale.

Heath Thomas, head of our licensing team, can be contacted at hthomas@hcrlaw.com

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