JTI has reassured retailers that it is fine to sell Sterling Dual packs marked ‘multi-pack not to be sold separately’ after they appeared in cash & carries last month.

The packs have so far been spotted by retailers in Parfetts and Batleys with posters in depot reading ‘Sterling Dual 5×17 outer available while stocks last. Packs can be sold individually.’

Maqsood Akhtar, owner of Blackthorn News and Food in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, said he chose to stock the packs to offer his shoppers the best price, but was concerned about his store’s perception.

“I’ve had a couple of customers asking why I’m selling them. Thankfully, most of my shoppers are regulars, but I’m worried that I’ll get one of them that kicks off and reports me,” he added.

The packs arrived in cash & carries as supermarkets chose to move to full plain packaging ahead of the May 20 deadline.

Anita Nye, manager of Eldred Drive Store in Orpington, Kent, said: “We’ve had these in for about a month and I had to double check that they were okay to sell.”

Jeremy Blackburn, head of communications for JTI, said: “We are aware of this happening, but there should be no need for concern from the retailer’s perspective.”