Tobacco control advice to businesses

If your business sells tobacco products you must make sure you comply with the UK laws concerning sales, labelling, advertising and displaying.

Tobacco products

Tobacco products are products wholly or partly of tobacco and intended to be smoked, sniffed, sucked or chewed.

These include those used in Shisha bars and smokeless tobacco products such as –

  • tobacco pastes or powders - these are placed on the gums or teeth
  • fine tobacco powder mixtures - these are usually inhaled and absorbed in to the nasal passage
  • oral smokeless tobacco products - these are placed in the mouth, cheek or lip and either sucked or chewed.

eCigarettes (which contain nicotine) are also included.

Smoking accessories such as tobacco papers, pipes and lighters are not considered as tobacco products.

Tobacco sales

Tobacco products must not be sold to people under the age of 18.

It is illegal for adults to buy or try to buy tobacco products and relevant nicotine products, such as e Cigarettes, nicotine cartridges or refill substances, for people under the age of 18.

Find out more about underage sales  

Advertising tobacco products

You cannot publish or display an advert for tobacco or tobacco products.

Tobacco displays

You cannot have tobacco products on open display in shops.

When can tobacco products be displayed?

You can temporarily display a tobacco product, when –

  • a customer aged 18 or over requests to see or buy tobacco products

Your staff are actively –

  • checking stock levels.
  • restocking
  • undertaking staff training
  • cleaning the storage unit
  • this must be done as quickly as is reasonable.

You can have price lists on display as long as they follow the rules. 

Tobacco labelling

The Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016 cover the labelling requirements for tobacco products.

The product must also display a warning image.

For more information visit the Business Companion website

To make a complaint or request advice contact Citizens Advice consumer helpline