Retailers must be on the tobacco sellers register: Council

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Tobacco retailers operating in the Derry City and Strabane District Council area are being reminded that they must be registered to sell tobacco products under new legislation which came into effect on April 6.

The Tobacco Retailers Act (Northern Ireland) 2014 requires tobacco retailers across Northern Ireland to join the register by 1 July 2016. After this date it will be illegal to sell tobacco products if not registered to do so.

There are significant consequences for retailers who do not comply with the new legislation. From July 1, 2016, enforcement officers will have power to issue fixed penalty notices for failing to register as a tobacco retailer and retailers may also face prosecution through the court system where it is considered appropriate to do so.

The new registration requirement is just one of a range of measures being introduced by the legislation to reduce smoking among children and young people. Research indicates that almost 1 in 4 adults in Northern Ireland smoked with two thirds of smokers lighting up before the age of 18.

Conor Logue, Tobacco Control officer with Derry City and Strabane District Council, encouraging retailers to register, explained that “While Council has a statutory duty to enforce tobacco control legislation within the council area, during the coming months officers will be working closely with retailers to help them to comply with their new duties.”

Derry City and Strabane District Council’s Environmental Health service has issued letters to tobacco retailers across the district to make them aware of the new register and their new legislative requirements under the Tobacco Retailers Act.

The tobacco retailers’ register is quick, easy and free to join on-line by visiting www.tobaccoregisterni.gov.uk. However, application forms are also available from Derry City and Strabane District Council’s Environmental Health Section.

For further information on the legislative requirements on the sale of tobacco products and to request an application form to join the new tobacco retailers’ register, please contact Derry City and Strabane District Council’s Environmental Health team or visit the Council’s web site http://www.derrystrabane.com/tobacco