A new initiative by tobacco firm JTI to further stamp down on underage selling has been met with a mixed reaction from retailers in Yorkshire’s NFRN district. 

The initiative, designed to identify retailers at risk of selling tobacco to under-18s, will see retailers found non-compliant on four occasions reported to a local authority and offered professional training via Trading Standards officers. 

Jay Banning, who runs Parans Minimarket in Rothwell, Leeds, said he believed the move will “keep retailers on their toes”. 

“It’s a good idea. JTI are giving retailers four strikes before they are reported to trading standards so it’s giving retailers chance to improve if they are caught out.”

However, Ian Smith who runs Caroline News, in Hull was less convinced by JTI’s approach. 

He said: “There are mixed feelings. It’s not a bad idea in principle, but it feels as though hardworking retailers who try their utmost to abide by the law are being placed in the same category as illegal tobacco sellers. The emphasis should be on catching them,” he said.

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