Health Act 2009: Tobacco

The Government's plans to ban cigarette advertising, display and vending machine sales are well known, as is the unsuccessful challenge to that proposal launched by a subsidiary of Imperial Tobacco.  The main restrictions will come into force in two years' time, but, in England, some are biting with effect from 1 October 2011.  Other parts of the UK will follow shortly.

Vending Machines

The main provision likely to affect our leisure industry clients is the ban on the use of vending machines on any premises (which is widely defined) to sell tobacco products. 

With effect from Saturday, 1 October, it will be an offence, potentially incurring a fine of up to £2,500 at current levels, to allow sales from a vending machine, or for that machine to advertise tobacco products, even if the machine is not dispensing them.   Both Premises Licence holder and management are at risk of being prosecuted.

If you have not already done so, the wise move would be to arrange for the suppliers to take the cigarette vending machines away entirely to prevent inadvertent breach.    

Advertising and Display

1 October 2011 is also the commencement date for Regulations controlling the display of tobacco products and prices in large shops (over 280 sq m), unless a bulk tobacconist.   Advertisement breaches carry a current maximum fine of £5,000.

Other public premises (with the exception of specialist tobacconists) will be affected from 1 October 2013, so whilst there is a short period of grace, long term business plans should take account of these controls and their likely effect.

For more information or advice, contact Trethowans' licensing team.