Details of how retailers would be required to screen tobacco displays were not included in the Bill’s first reading, although it has emerged that stores would be permitted to display a plain price list detailing the tobacco products stocked. The Department of Health’s Impact Assessment also revealed that it expected the cost of refitting stores to average £1,000 - more than health secretary Alan Johnson’s original estimate of £550.
Support for retailers has been voiced by 100 MPs, including a quarter of all Labour backbenchers. Conservative health spokesman Mike Penning MP and Liberal Democrat health spokesman Norman Lamb MP have also registered their opposition. Tobacco Retailers Alliance national spokesman Ken Patel said: “We welcome the support small retailers are getting and urge members of all retailer bodies to continue to lobby their MPs.”