Although most retailers were aware of the Tobacco Products Directive (TPD), shopkeepers still need support in understanding all the specifics of the legislation, research commissioned by JTI has shown.

A survey of 250 retailers, highlighted gaps in retailers’ understanding of the legislation. For example, while 98% of retailers knew that TPD legislation would affect the tobacco category, a third were unaware that it came into effect in May 2017. Furthermore, 76% were not aware that e-cigarettes are affected by the legislation too.

As part of ‘Your Guide Through Change’ – JTI’s initiative to support retailers through the TPD legislation – the tobacco manufacturer has just launched both TPD and e-cigarette training modules on its trade website JTIAdvance.

Jeremy Blackburn, head of communications at JTI, commented: “Retailer awareness of the upcoming legislation is really high, which stands the category in good stead, however there are some worrying gaps that we’ve identified. Store staff should speak to our sales force, visit our website and take the online training modules to be fully aware of the upcoming legislation and begin communicating the changes to consumers.

“Our support of retailers is unwavering and as the operating environment changes JTI will be on hand to guide retailers through change. In the meantime, retailers must continue to treat the category with a ‘Business As Usual’ attitude to ensure their stores remain a destination of choice for existing adult smokers.”

Responses to the survey showed 91% of retailers are informing customers of upcoming changes and 44% are training staff on the legislation.

However, it also found:

• 33% of retailers are unaware of the year in which the ban affects retailers and wholesalers;

• 76% unaware that e-cigs are affected by the legislation;

• 76% unaware of the year in which menthol cigarettes are banned;

• 31% unaware of which cigarette pack sizes are banned; and

• 43% unaware of which roll your own tobacco pack sizes are banned.

The training is available at