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Sale of tobacco products - retailer guidance

If you're a business which sells tobacco products on your premises then you'll need to be aware of the laws which control those sales. This includes the existing ban on sales to anyone under the age of 18 and the ban on open display of tobacco products, accessories and prices which is extended to all businesses in April 2015.

Changes to the law from 6 April 2015

Under the Tobacco Advertising and Promotion (Display) (England) Regulations 2010, it will be illegal to display tobacco products and their prices in shops and licensed premises such as pubs and clubs.

Complying with the law

Download our  Icon for pdf Display of tobacco products and prices guidance (PDF, 197.2kb)  which outlines what you need to do to make sure you comply with the law.

Age verification check - is your customer over 18?

As it is illegal to supply tobacco to anyone under the age of 18, age verification checks must be carried out before any tobacco product is shown to a customer who asks to buy tobacco or asks for information about a tobacco product.

Find out more about underage sales.


If a person is found guilty of displaying tobacco products illegally, or supplying tobacco to someone under the age of 18, they may face, on conviction:

  • a fine of up to £5,000
  • imprisonment up to two years

Further advice

Contact us for further advice from our trading standards team.

Contact us
Trading Standards
03000 261 016
Our address is:
  • Community Protection
  • PO Box 617
  • Durham
  • County Durham
  • United Kingdom
  • DH1 9HZ
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