How is your new covered gantry working out? Are you ready for plain packaging to come in in less than a year? What about the EU Tobacco Products Directive that will see all 10 packs and small RYO packs removed from sale?

jane ellison
Public health minister Jane Ellison speaking at the ASH report launch

Retailers will have been forgiven for thinking that they’d already shouldered (or were about to shoulder) their fare share of tobacco control measures. The health lobby, however, has other ideas.

The new “Smoking Still Kills” report by ASH is released today and the executive summary – seen by me yesterday – outlines more tough regulations that retailers could soon face.

They include:

  • Licensing for retailers who sell tobacco.
  • An increase in the tax escalator which will see prices rise by inflation plus 5% each year.
  • A minimum unit price for all tobacco products.
  • Pushing to make RYO and ready-made cigarettes the same price.
  • A new annual levy – the Tobacco Companies Obligation – on the industry to fund further tobacco controls.

On top of this, at the launch, YouGov boss Peter Kellner suggested a 25p per pack “User Levy” could also be introduced.

It all means a lot more regulation could be heading retailers way before the latest tranche has been implemented.

Who will step up to say enough is enough?