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Electronic cigarettes - business advice 
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Tobacco control

If your business deals with selling tobacco products you must make sure you comply with the UK laws concerning sales, labelling, advertising and displaying.

Tobacco products

Tobacco products are defined as a product consisting wholly or partly of tobacco and intended to be smoked, sniffed, sucked or chewed. These include those used in Shisha bars and smokeless tobacco products such as –

  • tobacco pastes or powders - these are placed on the gums or teeth
  • fine tobacco powder mixtures - these are usually inhaled and absorbed in to the nasal passage
  • oral smokeless tobacco products - these are placed in the mouth, cheek or lip and either sucked or chewed

Smoking accessories such as tobacco papers, pipes and lighters are not considered as tobacco products. eCigarettes are not yet covered by the UK laws concerning sales, labelling, advertising and displaying of tobacco products but this is due to change.

Find out about electronic cigarettes - advice for businesses

Find out about electronic cigarettes - safety information for consumers

Our service makes sure that tobacco products sold in Hull –

  • are correctly labelled in English with health warnings
  • are not counterfeit
  • only contain substances allowed by law

Tobacco sales

Tobacco products must not be sold to people under the age of 18.

From Thursday 1 October 2015 it will be an offence for adults to but or try to buy tobacco products and relevant nicotine products, effectively eCigarettes, nicotine cartridges or refill substances, to people under the age of 18.

Advertising tobacco products

Under the Tobacco Advertising and Promotions Act 2002, it is a criminal offence, subject to very limited exceptions, to publish an advert where the purpose or effect is to promote a tobacco product.

Tobacco displays

Since Friday 6 April 2012, large shops (with a sales area greater than 280sq m) selling tobacco products (other than specialist and bulk tobacconists) have been prohibited from the open display of tobacco products. All other shops and businesses selling tobacco products (including bulk tobacconists and specialist tobacconists) were also prohibited from Monday 6 April 2015. Price lists and price labels for tobacco products can only be displayed in the specific formats.

When tobacco products can be displayed

You can temporarily display a tobacco product subject to controls, when –

  • a customer aged 18 or over requests to see or buy tobacco products
  • your staff are actively –
    • assessing stock levels for the purposes of stock control
    • restocking
    • undertaking staff training
    • cleaning, maintaining or refurbishing the storage unit

The above activity should not last any longer than necessary.

Tobacco labelling

The Tobacco Products (Manufacture, Presentation and Sale) (Safety) Regulations 2002 specifies the labelling requirements for tobacco products. Packs of cigarettes must be labelled with a statement of yields for tar, nicotine and carbon dioxide.

Tobacco products (other than tobacco for oral use and smokeless tobacco products) must bear either of the warnings –

  • smoking kills
  • smoking seriously harms you and others around you

Misleading terms such as low tar, mild and light are prohibited on tobacco packs and all the above information must be in English. 

The product must also have one of 14 pictorial warnings such as the examples below.

Smoking clogs the arteries and causes heart attacks and strokes Smoking contains benzene, nitrosamines, formaldehyde and hydrogen cyanide Smoking can damage the sperm and decreases fertility

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