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The Health Act 2009 (HA 2009) received Royal Assent on 12 November 2009. Section 21 of the Act prohibits tobacco displays in all large and small shops by inserting new sections 7A and 7B into the Tobacco Advertising and Promotion Act 2002 (TAPA 2002). The stated aim is to reduce smoking uptake among children whilst supporting those people who smoke and want to quit.

The Tobacco Advertising and Promotion (Display) (England) Regulations 2010 (as amended by the Tobacco Advertising and Promotion (Display and Specialist Tobacconists) (England) (Amendment) regulations 2012) are commonly known as the “Display Regulations”. The Display Regulations deal with the practicalities of shops implementing the prohibition of tobacco displays. A main objective is to minimise costs and burdens to retailers of implementing section 21. Specifically, the Regulations:

  • enable retailers to make temporary, limited-size displays on request when selling a tobacco product to a customer;
  • provide for low cost solutions to be used in covering tobacco displays in shops;
  • enable bulk-tobacconists to display tobacco in designated tobacco display areas

The Display Regulations came into force on 6 April 2012 for large shops and on 6 April 2015 for all other shops.

It is important to note that specialist tobacconists are treated differently. The Tobacco Advertising and Promotion (Specialist Tobacconists) (England) Regulations 2010 (as amended by the Tobacco Advertising and Promotion (Display and Specialist Tobacconists) (England) (Amendment) regulations 2012) are commonly known as the “Specialist Tobacconists Regulations”. Under the Regulations, specialist tobacconists can display and advertise tobacco products inside their shops, provided they are not visible from outside. The Regulations came into force on 6 April 2015.

This Commons briefing paper considers in detail both sets of regulations.


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