Imperial Tobacco launch challenge to cigarette display ban

Imperial Tobacco last week declared about the launch of a challenge through the Supreme Court in opposition to the introduction of a cigarette display ban in Scotland.

The Scottish government is convinced that the ban on cigarettes display in stores will discourage young people from smoking. The measure is supposed to Imperial Tobacco, which is the maker of Davidoff and Gauloises cigarette brands, have introduced the challenge to the ban as a result of problems over the cost to retailers and a potential raise in illegal cigarette trade.

Davidoff Classic

Davidoff Classic cigarettes

Imperial considers the ban is “anti-competitive”, is “against the principle of adult choice” and also that, according to the Scotland Act, only Westminster has the right to apply this type of ban.

A spokesperson for Imperial Tobacco said that the tobacco company is challenging the competence of the Scottish Government to legislate for a cigarette display ban and a cigarette sales ban in Scotland.

Imperial Tobacco also declared that there were no facts that the bans would result in a reduction in smoking amongst young adults.

“Cigarette display bans also make it easier for the minority of fake retailers to sell illegal products. Those who seek to gain from the criminal trade in tobacco already make considerable earnings at the cost of Scottish taxpayers.”

The ban became operational in April 2012 for larger stores, reflecting English legislation strategies.

The Scottish government still expects to have the ban across the country by 2015.

It is determined that refitting stores to adhere to the ban will cost between £160 and £640, determining by store size.

It was declared in January that only 1 sq metre of tobacco products can be showed at any one time.

This was raised from first proposals of only 120 sq cm after issues were raised by retailers about the practicalities of such a small area.

The size of the display area is smaller than the 1.5 sq metres suggested in England and Wales.

A Scottish government spokesperson said that this size of cigarette display, which is considerably smaller than the 15 sq metres permitted in the similar regulations for England, Wales and Northern Ireland, will be successful in reducing the appeal of cigarettes to youngsters.

The ban will also touch on the sale of tobacco products in vending machines. Such ban was implemented in England in October 2011.

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