Tobacco display ban draws indies' fire

A coalition of around 25,000 independent retailers has launched a campaign against government proposals to ban the display of tobacco products in shops.

The Save Our Shops initiative aims to alert retailers, consumers and other affected organisations to the impact these proposals will have, and to urge them to call on the government to find other ways to reduce youth smoking.

A tobacco retail display ban in the UK could cause 2,600 shops to close and 8,000 jobs to be lost, warns the Tobacco Retailers Alliance.

Spokesman Ken Patel said: "Our members are at the sharp end of this recession, and being forced to hide their tobacco out of sight will be the last straw for many. Small shops rely on tobacco sales and associated footfall - anything that restricts our ability to sell it is a threat ."

The alliance has produced a campaign pack, providing retailers with materials, support and advice on how to run their own campaigns, get customers' support and visit their local MP.

The effects of a display ban, according to the


re-fitting costs could be up to £5,000 per shop

displaced sales from small shops to larger retailers

increase in illicit trade, boosting the black market and organised crime.

To find out more visit tobaccoretailers-