JTI is urging retailers to start preparing for upcoming tobacco legislation changes.

The tobacco manufacturer has moved on from the ‘Business as Usual’ phase of its Guide Through Change initiative as plain and TPD2-compliant packs begin to appear.

As part of phase two of its three-phase initiative, JTI has created a second video and leaflet to offer advice to ensure retailers are prepared. These resources, free to download, are hosted on the JTI Advance website.

From May 2017, packs on sale must be compliant with the new legislation: Minimum pack size of 20 cigarettes, minimum pouch size of 30g rolling tobacco, no branded packaging, standardised colour and increased health warnings.

The leaflet highlights the vital role that communication with customers will play in the run up to May 2017; as smaller pack sizes run out, retailers should reassure customers their desired brand is still available in a larger pack size.

To help retailers communicate these changes to customers, JTI is launching a consumer awareness campaign that includes a new website, posters and leaflets - available via JTI reps.

Retailers can therefore point their customers to packchanges.co.uk which provides information on TPD2, relaying how the changes will impact on their tobacco purchases. The posters and leaflets also carry information on the legislation and highlight the new website.

Jeremy Blackburn, JTI Head of Communications, said: “There’s no doubt in my mind retailers will be questioned by customers wondering where their brand has gone. This gives retailers a way to deflate those sorts of situations.”

The third and final phase of the Guide Through Change will be labelled ‘Be Compliant’. Blackburn says this phase will be brought in around January or February next year and it will encourage retailers to start selling through their branded packs before May 2017.

“Our view is if you make too many changes at this stage you could run out of stock and availability and if availability is low or poor, you could lose a customer, so keep status quo for as long as you can,” Blackburn expalins.

“JTI is absolutely committed to supporting the retail trade through the upcoming legislative changes, giving retailers all the detail they need to be prepared, and as compliant stock comes through, now is the time to get ready.” 

“As an industry leader we have listened to retailers who asked for help in informing their customers of the changes. The website, packchanges.co.uk and supporting poster and leaflet materials will drive greater awareness of the change in legislation and ensure a smooth transition.”

For more information retailers can visit www.jtiadvance.co.uk to view the ‘Be Prepared’ video and download the informative leaflet. They can also speak to their local JTI representative, access the JTI Advance app or call the JTI Customer Careline on 0800 163 503 to arrange a visit.