Nearly half of retailers failing tobacco ID checks

  • Print
  • Share
  • Comments (1)
  • Save

A huge swathe of retailers across the UK could be habitually breaking the law by failing to ask for ID from teenagers who try to buy tobacco related products in their shops, a tobacco industry report reveals.

The Responsible Tobacco Retailing (RTR) programme, launched two years ago by Japan Tobacco International, Philip Morris and Imperial Tobacco, commissioned age-restricted mystery shopping specialist Serve Legal to test 3,626 shops across the UK last year.

It found:

  • A large minority – 46% – of retailers correctly challenged for ID before completing the sale
  • An increase in compliance of 9% year on year in the first half of the calendar year
  • 47% of outlets did not have warning signage outside their store
  • 84% had no age verification policy written down
  • 79% had no documented training in place
  • 63% provided undocumented ad hoc, verbal training
  • 16% provided no training provision.

Serve Legal found that staff in just 56% of premises made eye contact with the purchasers before the transaction – particularly important because RTR said retailers were more likely to be compliant with legislation if eye contacts was made before a purchase.

Retailers in the East of England and East Midlands were considerably more likely to challenge for ID from younger consumers – 64% compared with the national average of 54%.

Suleman Khonat, chair of the Tobacco Retailers Alliance and NW president of the Federation of Retail Newsagents said: “Targeting different regions each year has allowed us to see that the illegal sale of age-restricted products is not isolated to one area of the UK, but it is a national problem, and one that needs rectifying.”

Lord Porter, leader of South Holland District Council, who wrote the foreword to a the RTR’s annual report, Reducing Youth access to tobacco, said many retailers might just need to be reminded of “their vital role in helping to prevent underage smoking” but Trading Standards would continue to root out “a small number” of retailers who knowingly flouted the law.

Readers' comments (1)

  • We have a solution to that problem for all store owners. the Navarra Smart Tobacco Gantries we supply work in conjunction with your EPOS tills for stock and shrinkage control.

    Another benefit is that It can also be used to remind your staff to do an age check and verify that they have done an age check before any tobacco is dispensed. One of the many features to ensure that your tobacco retailing is up to dat and working profitably within the current and future regulations.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

These comments have not been moderated.

You are encouraged to participate with comments that are relevant to our news stories. You should not post comments that are abusive, threatening, defamatory, misleading or invasive of privacy. For the full terms and conditions for commenting see clause 7 of our Terms and Conditions ‘Participating in Online Communities’. These terms may be updated from time to time, so please read them before posting a comment.

Any comment that violates these terms may be removed in its entirety as we do not edit comments.

If you wish to complain about a comment please use the “report this comment” facility or email groceremails@wrbm.com

Mandatory
Mandatory
Mandatory
Mandatory

Related images

  • underage sale, test purchase
  • Print
  • Share
  • Comments (1)
  • Save
Sign in

Newsletter Sign-up

I wish to receive the following newsletters:

FOLLOW US