New tobacco laws are now in force for shops

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Inspections are being carried out by Luton Borough council’s Trading Standards officers ahead of new tobacco laws that come into force this month.

It has been illegal for large shops to display tobacco products, except to people over 18, since 2012.

From Monday, April 6, the law will extend to all premises selling cigarettes and other tobacco products.

The new legislation on the display and format of price lists for tobacco products also comes into force.

Colin Chick, corporate director for Environment and regeneration, said: “The purpose of this legislation is to make tobacco products less appealing to children and to help reduce the number of young people taking up smoking as well as supporting adult smokers who want to quit.

“Most of the shop owners our officers visited were aware of the new legislation and were taking steps to comply with these new laws. As well as it being an offence to sell tobacco to a person under 18, it will now also be an offence to show a tobacco product, so it is even more important that retailers check the age of customers if they have concerns about their age.”

An advice letter will be sent out to all the businesses that have been visited explaining their obligations and how the new law works.

Officers will continue to carry out undercover checks to ensure that tobacco is not being supplied to children.

If a business is unsure of their obligations, they should call Trading Standards on 01582 547262.