Northampton shopkeepers warned of new cigarette laws banning smaller packs
New laws that packageÂ cigarettes and tobacco in 'the world's ugliest colour' and bans the sale of smaller packs came into force over theÂ weekend.
Starting Saturday (May 20), packs of 10 cigarettes, flavoured cigarettes and bags of rolling tobacco smaller than 30 grammes are all banned and cannot be bought in shops.
The new regulations come ahead of more restrictions on the sale of tobacco, which include making menthol cigarettes illegal by 2020.
Northamptonshire County Council Trading Standards is encouraging retailers to ensure they are familiar with the new restrictions and to remove all old stock from their stores.
David Hedger, manager of Northamptonshire County Council Trading Standards, said: “The new rules have been brought in to make consumers more aware of the health effects of smoking with clear warnings on packaging and the ultimate aim is to encourage people not to smoke in the first place."
The regulations mean that all tobacco products are now sold in a standardised 'muddy green' packaging, which research has shown to be 'the world's ugliest colour'.
Flavoured cigarettes are also now banned, apart from menthol, which will be made illegal in 2020.
Cigarettes are now only sold in packs of 20. With changes to excise duty rates, this means the minimum price for a pack of cigarettes will be Â£8.82.
Retailers have had one year to sell through old stock and the new legislation came into full effect on Saturday (May 20).
Any shopkeepers convicted of breaking the law could be fined, or even face imprisonment, or both.
The new regulations are designed to make health warnings on packets larger and limit the appeal of tobacco and cigarettes, particularly to young people.
Mr Hedger said: "It is important that shopkeepers ensure they understand and are fully compliant with the new regulations relating to tobacco packaging which came into effect at the weekend
“I would encourage anyone who is aware of a retailer not complying with the legislation to report it to us by calling the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 04 05 06.”