MSP calls for licensing system for tobacco sales

20 November, 2007

An MSP is calling for the sale of cigarettes and tobacco to be licensed in the same way as alcohol.

Christine Grahame has launched a consultation to gain support for her plans for a licensing system with the aim of bringing a members’ bill before the Scottish Parliament.

The proposal calls for positive licensing to be introduced in Scotland, meaning that retailers would have to apply for a license to sell tobacco, as they currently do for the sale of alcohol.

Tightening the law would tackle rogue traders and under-age sales, according to Grahame. If the legislation is supported by the Scottish Government, retailers who sell cigarettes to under-18s could face strict penalties such as losing their license or heavy fines.

The Association of Convenince Stores said it will be responding to the consultation to “ensure that the voice of the small retailer is heard”.

The consultation response will inform the Scottish Government’s new strategy on smoking prevention which is due to be published next year. The deadline for responses is Jan 15 2008.

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