Tobacco company JTI has confirmed that it will take back all stock that doesn’t comply with either Track & Trace regulations or the menthol and capsule ban once the company’s reps return to making store visits.

Tobacco gantry

From midnight tonight (19 May), it will be illegal to sell menthol and capsule cigarettes or any tobacco product that does not have the new Track & Trace codes. Retailers are being asked to keep any non-compliant JTI stock to one side until a rep from the company’s sales force is able to visit. JTI said it aims to uplift all stock within 12 weeks from the time that retail calls restart after the virus lockdown.

Ross Hennessy, sales vice president UK at JTI, issued a statement saying:

“After listening to feedback from trade customers and retailers across all channels, JTI can now confirm that we will take back all non-compliant Track & Trace and menthol and capsule stock held by every retailer who our sales reps visit. We will aim to uplift this stock within 12 weeks from the time our sales reps return to the trade.

“Whilst the current COVID-19 situation is clearly unprecedented, we are determined to continue to support our trade partners through this period of uncertainty and JTI sales representatives are in constant contact with their retailers via phone. Should your local JTI representative not be able to visit your store immediately following the implementation of Track & Trace and the menthol and capsule ban on the 20 May 2020, please ensure that you keep JTI menthol and capsule and non-complaint Track & Trace stock that needs swapping, separate from other stock.

“For clarification, all retailers will need to supply their JTI rep with both Track & Trace ID codes. As soon as it is safe to do so, your JTI representative will begin visiting again, so please ensure stock has been separated in readiness for their visit. In the meantime, should you require assistance, please either contact your JTI representative by phone, visit our trade website JTI Advance or call the Customer Care Line on 0800 163503.”