Convenience stores in England are reporting moderate rises in their tobacco sales following the ban on tobacco vending machines, which came into force on October 1.
It is now illegal for pubs, clubs, hotels, cafés and bookmakers in England to sell tobacco products from vending machines. The law is as yet unchanged in the rest of the UK, although Scotland and Wales are expected to implement similar bans next year.
Independent retailer David Worsfold of Farrants in Cobham, Surrey, said his cigarette sales were up on last year, and had climbed in the last few months as local pubs and cafés removed their tobacco vending machines.
“I supported the ban completely,” David said. “For underage smokers, vending machines were the quick and easy way to purchase their cigarettes. This action, together with the introduction of a licensing scheme for tobacco retailers is all that’s necessary to clamp down on underage sales. All this talk of a display ban should be scrapped,” he added.