First fine in Scotland for retailer selling cigarettes on open display

An Aberdeen retailer has been fined for having packets of cigarettes on open display on shelves in their shop in what is believed to be the first case in Scotland.

The £200 fixed penalty notice was issued when officers from Aberdeen City Council’s Trading Standards service visited the shop following the receipt of a complaint in April.

Despite having issued a previous warning, the officers discovered several shelves containing packets of cigarettes in full view of customers.

Aberdeen City Council Trading Standards manager Graeme Paton said: “The aim of covering tobacco displays is to protect children from the promotion of tobacco products – it’s one of many measures introduced to try and reduce the appeal of smoking to young people.

“While compliance with the new law has been very high in Aberdeen, there have only been a few instances where cigarettes have been on open view. Usually advice is all that is needed but sometimes we need to issue a fixed penalty notice.”

The Tobacco and Primary Medical Services (Scotland) Act 2010 requires all shops and supermarkets in Scotland to cover up cigarettes and hide tobacco products from public view. The legislation was brought into force more than a year ago.

Trading standards officers now have the power to issue fixed penalties ranging from £150 to more than £1,000 depending on the circumstances. Failure to pay can result in a report going to the Procurator Fiscal.

Members of the public who spot tobacco on open display in shops, pubs or supermarkets can let the Trading Standards service know via the Citizen’s Advice Service National Advice line on 03454 040506 or by email on tradingstandards@aberdeencity.gov.uk.