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Retail Encouraged To Fight Back

Retail stores are being encouraged to fight back against the push to get the government to ban disposable single-use vapes and the generational smoking ban

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Retail stores are being encouraged to fight back against the push to get the government to ban disposable single-use vapes and the generational smoking ban. While the vape ban isn’t certain yet, ministers are already talking about increasing the tax on all vapes and restricting flavours. The generational smoking ban will see no child who was 14 in 2023 able to buy tobacco – ever.

Retailers are being told that the proposed bans will affect store owners and their businesses. “There is still time to act,” is the message from Talking Retail.

The rolling ban on cigarette sales will prohibit all forms of tobacco products from future generations of adults. The government is currently working on the wording of the ban and, if it passes into the statute book, will apply to all retailers.

Talking Retail says: “The proposed legislation would see the minimum age at which a person can be sold tobacco products, including cigarettes, cigars and heated tobacco, increase each year, starting in 2027. This means that the minimum smoking age in 2027 would be 19, rising to 20 in 2028, with one year added each subsequent year that passes. Therefore, anyone born on or after 1st January 2009 will never legally be allowed to be sold tobacco products.

The trade magazine says that in 2037 retailers will be struggling to tell the difference between someone who is 29-years-old, and legally able to buy a pack of twenty fags, and a 28-year-old who will be banned from buying cigarettes. Also, 29-year-olds and over will be banned from buying cigarettes for 28-year-olds, something called proxy purchasing.

The trade magazine reports that a number of retailers have contacted it to share their concerns:

  • It’s a deeply impractical law”
  • “This ban would simply hand more of the UK tobacco market into the hands of criminals”
  • “The proposed ban would highly likely drive a further increase in threatening behaviour against retailers

As we reported last week, the proposed generational smoking ban is unlikely to sail through Parliament easily. Right-wing MPs including Liz Truss and Boris Johnson have stated that they will oppose any measure to raise the legal age of buying tobacco. The government wants to ensure that 14-year-olds will never be able to purchase tobacco.

Liz Truss said her party needs to “stop banning things”.

Boris Johnson is quoted as saying: "Let's stop telling people what to do".

With rebellious Conservative MPs eager to deliver Rishi Sunak a bloody nose following the failed revolt over the Rwanda Bill, it is highly possible that this issue may serve as a vehicle to demonstrate their rebelliousness.

The only thing that remains certain is a tax hike in the March budget of at least 25%.

Talking Retail says concerned retailers should contact their local MP to explain why these measures would be bad for business and the economy.

Dave Cross avatar

Dave Cross

Journalist at POTV
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Dave is a freelance writer; with articles on music, motorbikes, football, pop-science, vaping and tobacco harm reduction in Sounds, Melody Maker, UBG, AWoL, Bike, When Saturday Comes, Vape News Magazine, and syndicated across the Johnston Press group. He was published in an anthology of “Greatest Football Writing”, but still believes this was a mistake. Dave contributes sketches to comedy shows and used to co-host a radio sketch show. He’s worked with numerous vape companies to develop content for their websites.

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