With just three months until the Tobacco Products Directive 2 legislation is set to enter the market, JTI is launching an initiative to support retailers.

‘Your guide through change’ is a communications plan that is available on the company’s trade website JTI Advance, which recently reached 16,000 subscribers, and includes online training modules, educational videos and information packs.

The plan includes three phases. The first phase is business as usual, the second is “be prepared” and the third, which will come nearer May 2017, is “be compliant.”

The initiative has already seen 30,000 A5 leaflets go out to retailers, as well as JTI train its sales force to be able to give advice on the upcoming legislation changes.

Jeremy Blackburn, JTI head of communications, said while every shop keeper needs to be prepared for now it is business as usual.

“Our advice for the time being is use the principles of ‘artist’, with a particular focus on availability and range to manage the category successfully,” he added.

From May, tobacco manufacturers will be banned from producing packs smaller than 20 cigarettes and 30g rolling tobacco. Retailers will have until May 2017 to sell these packs.