Big Tobacco and small traders unite to fight ban on cigarette displays

An association of big tobacco entities and corner shop trade bodies is knocking the doors of ministry claiming that the recently pronounced the matter of ban which displays cigarettes on store shelves will trigger an upsurge in illicit sales and organised crime, at the same time pushing many out of the business.

The measures will be set in action soon in October next year and for smaller stores two years later, but would have a devastating impact on the business.

The latest norms in cases of anti-smoking regulations has been pushed further coming from health department with the support from the Labour government. Other steps include a ban of smoking public places, an advertising ban and the imposition of more aggressive health warnings on packs.

The industry seems to answer back, with sound promotions on social networking sites and at music festivals, and exploiting loopholes in the ban that allow publicity for cigarette papers like the Rizlas. Tobacco chiefs have termed it to be the wave of regulations as an attack on civil liberties, with little impact on the incidence of smoking.

Industry is hoping that ministers might take their step back, with public health minister Anne Milton stating the Commons last month: "The government, in discussions across Whitehall, is developing options around the display of tobacco in shops that seek to ensure an appropriate balance between public health priorities and burdens on business."