Pressure to scrap tobacco display ban

27 March, 2009

Government plans for a tobacco display ban have come under renewed attack

following new evidence released by

the Canadian Convenience Stores Association.

The report shows that since a tobacco display ban was implemented in the Canadian province of Ontario, 23 convenience stores have closed every week, and in Quebec, 12 stores closed every week.

CCSA president Dave Bryans said: "This new evidence shows the dire effect that a ban on tobacco displays has had on corner shops in Canada. It is inevitable that the same move by the UK government to ban displays will have a similar detrimental effect on the livelihood of retailers across the country."

Bryans has travelled to the UK to meet with MPs and retailers to discuss the impact of a tobacco display ban in Canada.

"The purpose of the legislation in Canada, as it is now in the UK, was to reduce youth smoking rates. Yet youth smoking rates in Canada have remained flat since 2006, so retailers have lost their jobs and their livelihoods for nothing," he added.

A study by the Centre for Economic & Business Research found that if UK shops were forced to hide tobacco products out of sight, 2,600 shops would cease to be profitable, causing a potential loss of 8,000 jobs.

Katherine Graham, co-ordinator for the Tobacco Retailers Alliance, said: "Together with the decision of the New Zealand

government to drop its proposed display ban, we believe this is compelling evidence which ministers and members of Parliament cannot ignore."

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