JTI is to allow stores to swap out non-track and trace marked stock following “feedback from trade customers and retailers”.

The manufacturer was the only UK supplier not to promise to take back non-track and trace stock after the 20 May deadline. After this point, it became illegal for stores to sell non-track and trace compliant tobacco products. JTI said its position was based on stores having a year to sell through the old stock ahead of the deadline.

EXCLUSIVE: Retailers warned to clear non-track-and-trace stock

However, a new statement from the tobacco giant’s UK sales vice president Ross Hennessy released just a day before the deadline announced a change of heart. It read: “After listening to feedback from trade customers and retailers across all channels, JTI can now confirm that we will take back all non-compliant track & trace, and menthol and capsule stock held by every retailer who our sales reps visit.”

JTI said this would take place in the 12 weeks following its reps being allowed to resume store visits. Hennessy advised stores to keep non-compliant menthol and non-track and trace stock separate from other stock in the interim, and to supply JTI reps with both necessary track and trace codes.

Read more: Menthol ban: stores respond to tobacco firm swap plans

The firm did not clarify whether returned non-track and trace stock will be credited or swapped for compliant stock. However, its policy for returned menthol stock is to swap out ‘like-for-like’ with the closest legitimate tobacco product.