Stores of all sizes are complying with a tobacco display ban on Jersey after the Channel Island enforced the legislation six months ahead of the UK.
The ban came into play on 30 October over what was an unseasonably warm half-term week on the touristic British isle, however retailers have reported “no change” to tobacco sales.
James Filleul, spokesman for the Channel Islands Tobacco Retailers Association, said that while it did not agree with the principle of the ban, it had worked closely with the health authorities to make it “as practical as possible” to implement.
Independent retailer Gill Costa, who owns the Columbus Street Corner Shop in St Helier, said sales had not been affected. “I was anxious about it beforehand as Imperial Tobacco fitted our shutters over a month ago while some of the other stores in the area waited until the very last minute to go dark. It meant that we had to do quite a lot of explaining to adult smokers as they just assumed we didn’t sell tobacco anymore. The addition of ‘Tobacco Products On Sale Here’ posters have helped, though, and now that all stores are compliant, things are running smoothly,” she said.
“We had a month to get used to where the brands were positioned behind the shutters so it isn’t taking too much longer to locate products, but what does take time is answering customers’ questions about the ban and which products we sell - particularly from tourists.”
A spokesman for the Sandpiper Group, which operates the Checkers Xpress and Island Shopper convenience fascias, said its retail teams had worked closely with the tobacco suppliers “and as a result the alteration process has run smoothly”.
“All staff have attended training sessions supported by our tobacco suppliers,” he added.
Retailers on Guernsey are expected to start complying with a display ban from June 2015. The Channel Island will also ban the sale of 10 packs at the same time and is considering increasing the duty on rolling tobacco by 15% year on year. Plans to fine children £500 for possessing cigarettes were scrapped.