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Behind closed doors

In just two months, the way tobacco is sold across the UK will change forever with all displays going dark or 'behind closed doors'.

Vaper trail

You know the e-cigarette industry's really come of age when the traditional tobacco companies get busy acquiring e-cig firms. So you have JTI with Zandera, which is responsible for E-Lites; Philip Morris International with Nicocigs, the firm behind Nicolites; and BAT with Nicoventures which produces Vype.

Show offs

This year is going to be a busy one for the tobacco category as it's the manufacturers' last chance to launch new lines before the full display ban in April 2015.

Countdown begins

April 6, 2015, is D-day for small stores selling tobacco products. From that day on displays have to be covered up, behind doors or shutters. Gayatri Barua-Howe, UK communications manager at Imperial Tobacco, says that while it is each retailer's personal responsibility to ensure that they comply with the display restrictions requirements, her firm is currently looking at a number of different scenarios to help retailers plan for these changes and to ensure compliance. "We will be discussing these in more detail over the coming months," she adds.

Risky business?

The risks involved in selling illicit cigarettes have risen substantially as, for the first time ever in the UK, a retailer has been found guilty of intentionally selling dangerous cigarettes. Until now, any UK retailer caught selling "cheap whites" has been prosecuted for tax evasion, but Shapoor Atiqi from Boston Food and Wine Centre in Lincolnshire, has been found guilty of eight offences, including the sale of non self-extinguishing cigarettes. He was sentenced to 270 hours of community work and fined more than £5,000.

Burning issues

The tobacco display ban, which was implemented in larger stores (3,000sq ft-plus) last April, is also now in place in Northern Ireland and Wales, with Scotland set to follow suit this April. Lessons learned from these bigger stores will no doubt help retailers with smaller stores, when they have to implement the ban in 2015.

Focus on Tobacco: Light and shade

April 6 has been and gone and with it went traditional tobacco displays in stores of 3,000sq ft and above. Instead shoppers in the grocery multiples and larger convenience stores across England are met with kiosks with their shutters down over the tobacco products. One quick glance and these kiosks look closed. To counter this, many of the grocery mults have plastered their shutters with large 'We are open' signs. The problem was, the new law was brought in but someone forgot to tell the smokers!

Your chance

Yet another big change for smokers and retailers comes into force in a matter of weeks when large stores (more than 280sq m or 3,000sq ft) across England will no longer be able to display tobacco products. From April 6, smokers going into a Tesco superstore to buy their ciggies will not be able to choose from a gantry display but will instead have to ask a kiosk assistant for their preferred brand by name. It may be off-putting and more time-consuming at first, but it's something smokers will have to get used to.

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Weekly retail fuel prices: 16 September 2019
RegionDieselLPGSuper ULUL
East131.91139.09127.72
East Midlands131.7067.90141.05127.78
London131.23140.26128.23
North East130.27143.10126.88
North West131.0561.90140.46127.66
Northern Ireland128.98134.61125.56
Scotland131.5452.70138.78127.59
South East132.3555.20140.48128.43
South West131.4959.90138.93127.63
Wales130.6864.90135.93126.92
West Midlands131.2068.90139.66127.86
Yorkshire & Humber130.9084.90142.07127.66

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