Cigarettes go under cover as new law bites

editorial image

LARGE shops in Dacorum will soon have to keep the cigarettes and other tobacco products they sell out of sight.

The new measures, which come into effect on April 6, mean tobacco products have to be hidden from view except when staff are serving customers or carrying out other day-to-day tasks such as restocking.

It will affect any stores with a shop floor greater than 280 square metres.

Herts Trading Standards watchdogs are reminding all large stores in the county that their displays must be hidden.

But staff at the Mosaic Supermarket in Marlowes, Hemel Hempstead said this week that they didn’t know they were one of the stores required to fall into line.

The giant Tesco store in Jarman Park is also among those required to hide its tobacco products, and has already done so.

A spokesman for the supermarket chain said: “We will make changes to comply with the law.”

The government hopes that keeping tobacco products out of sight will help smokers kick the habit and deter young people from starting smoking.

Herts County Council’s community safety spokesman Councillor Richard Thake said: “People who smoke usually start smoking and become addicted before the age of 18.

“This new measure will keep cigarettes in shops out of view of children and stop the promotion of this deadly habit.

“Not only will this reduce children’s temptation to start smoking, but it will also help adults who are trying to give up.”

Trading standards teams say they won’t be heavy-handed but will be working towards 100 per cent compliance. Smaller shops will have to comply by April 2015.

More information can be found online at www.hertsdirect.org/tradingstandards