Scottish Tobacco Licensing Scheme Could Duplicate Burdens on Retailers

ACS (the Association of Convenience Stores) has responded to the publication of the Scottish Government’s updated Tobacco Control Action Plan, raising concerns that the introduction of a tobacco licensing scheme would end up duplicating burdens on retailers.

The Tobacco Control Action Plan sets out the Scottish Government’s actions on tobacco control for the next five years, including considering new conditions for their tobacco registration scheme and whether they should license retailers to sell tobacco. 

The Plan also sets out that the Scottish Government will consider restrictions on the number and the clustering density of tobacco retailers to make tobacco products less available.

ACS chief executive James Lowman: “We do not believe that a tobacco licensing system is the right approach, as it would impose significant burdens on retailers while likely having little impact on the tobacco market, especially when tobacco track and trace regulations are on their way.

“We also have concerns about the Scottish Government’s plans to restrict the number of tobacco retailers. While tobacco is an important category to many retailers, these businesses also sell a wide range of other products and provide essential services that could be lost if the stores became unviable.”

Tobacco track and trace regulations, to be introduced in 2019, will track the sale of legitimate tobacco through the supply chain and will provide the government with the power to prevent retailers from purchasing tobacco in “duly justified cases”, essentially replicating the powers of a licensing scheme. 

ACS has produced a briefing document which explains the Track and Trace regulations as they stand, which is available here.

The Scottish Government’s Tobacco Control Action Plan is available in full here:

This entry was posted by Chloe on Thu, 21/06/2018 - 15:32