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Regulation is not a dirty word: Local retailers’ views of proposals for new tobacco laws

Nov 2022
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This briefing presents the results of a survey of local retailers in the United Kingdom, focusing on the findings for England. The survey explored retailers’ attitudes to selling tobacco and to proposals for new measures to further reduce the harm of tobacco, including measures that would directly affect their business. It also investigates retailers’ views of e-cigarettes and vaping products.

The government’s smokefree goal for England – reducing smoking prevalence to below 5% by 2030 and making smoking obsolete – will only be achieved if new measures are introduced both to support smokers to quit and to prevent young people starting to smoke. Tobacco companies and the trade associations they fund have a long history of opposing such measures and lobbying politicians, ostensibly to protect the interests of local retailers. In reality, however, the interests of local retailers diverge from the interests of the industry. This study offers an independent account of retailers’ views, free from commercial influence.

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