The government is currently consulting on the future of tobacco control, as the first step in developing a new national tobacco control strategy, intended to “reduce smoking rates, protect young people from smoking, support existing smokers’ efforts to quit and help those who cannot quit.”

Various measures are being considered, including the removal of tobacco gantries because it is argued that they stimulate impulse purchases among the young or those trying to give up.

Convenience Store believes that such a measure would create huge costs and operational difficulties across the c-store industry, with no proven impact on smoking levels. Indeed, driving tobacco under the counter is likely to make it easier for illicit traders to operate, potentially increasing tobacco sales to young people.

This is why we are urging you to get involved in our Keep Tobacco Over the Counter campaign.

Only you know how important tobacco sales are to your store, whether you measure the benefits directly through sales, through footfall, or in terms of customer service by providing the products that your customers want. But even if you strongly support the government’s intentions, the way in which measures in this consultation are introduced will directly affect your staff’s safety and security, and the quality of customer service that your store can provide.

Today, we urge you to get involved in the consultation, because you can be sure that anti-smoking lobbyists will have plenty of material already submitted to the Department of Health.

The best way to make your voice heard is to send your own letter or email to the consultation, but we have also prepared a statement for you to submit if you prefer. If you would like an electronic version to print out or to email to the consultation, please send an email to

If you do not want to submit anything to the consultation but want to back our statement, please send a message of support to the C-Store offices either by email or post and we will pass your name on to the consultation in the form of a petition.

The consultation closes on September 8 and we urge you to submit something, whether it is your own document or ours, as soon as possible.