The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) is campaigning to get as many retailers as possible lobbying the government to overturn the tobacco display ban.

Postcards urging the government to scrap the ban have been sent to cash and carries across the country, and retailers are being encouraged to sign them and post them to Health Secretary Andrew Lansley.

Small retailers in England will have to cover up tobacco gantries from October 2013 with no more than 1.5sq m exposed during a sale or restocking. Traders in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will also be subject to restrictions, still to be confirmed by the regional assemblies.

ACS believes real progress has been made in encouraging the new government to reconsider the ban, which was voted through by the previous Labour administration. A key meeting between ministers from the health and business departments broke up without agreement prior to parliament's summer recess, leaving the next few months as a make-or-break period for those lobbying on the issue.

ACS public affairs director Shane Brennan told C-Store: "Now really is the last chance to stop the display ban. We need one final heave to give the remaining ministerial doubters the reassurance that removing the ban has a strong groundswell of support."

Convenience Store is backing the campaign by including one of the postcards inside every copy of our next issue, which is out on September 3.

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