Time’s up for ‘branded’ tobacco sales

Posted on: 19 May 2017

Devon, Somerset and Torbay Trading Standards Service are reminding tobacco retailers that the time is up for old stocks of branded products. 

When the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016 came into force last year – introducing  “plain packaging” for cigarettes and hand rolling tobacco – retailers were given 12 months to sell old stock.

That deadline expires tonight and from 20 May 2017 it will be illegal to sell packs that do not comply with the new rules.

Other changes in relation to tobacco are:

• The health warnings are increased in size
• Packs of 10 cigarettes are prohibited, the minimum quantity is now 20
• With the exception of Menthol – permitted until 2020 – flavourings in tobacco and cigarettes are now banned
• Hand rolling tobacco packs cannot be less than 30grams in weight.

There are also changes to rules about e-cigarettes and vaping products, including:

• E-devices and liquids must be registered before they are placed on the market and  safety information and contact details supplied
• Containers of liquids which contain nicotine must be child resistant and tamper – evident
• The concentration of nicotine is limited to 20mg/ml and some additives and colourings such as caffeine and taurine are banned.
• Each pack and container labelled with “this product contains nicotine which is a highly addictive substance” in a prescribed format and size.

Breaching the rules could result in prosecution and a fine or even imprisonment.

Stephen Gardiner, Devon, Somerset and Torbay Trading Standards Service’s Interventions Manager said:

“We always prefer to work with businesses to achieve compliance and formal action is always a last resort.”

Businesses can contact us on 01392 381381 from Devon, 0300 1232224 from Somerset or 01803 208025 from Torbay or email us at tsadvice@devon.gov.uk for advice.

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