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New Study Increases Retailer Concern

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

New Study Increases Retailer Concern

A new UK study backs up New Zealand retailer concerns about the risk to their business should a retail ban on tobacco displays be pushed again in this country say the New Zealand Association of Convenience Stores (NZACS).

"The latest evidence from the UK conducted by the Tobacco Retailers Alliance should cause those thinking about a ban on tobacco displays to think twice about the negative side effects of any proposal," says Roger Bull, Chairman of NZACS.

"Over three -quarters of retailers in the UK, who were surveyed are concerned that a display ban would displace trade from legitimate retailers to a growing black market," said Mr Bull.

New Zealand is not immune from this with the New Zealand Customs Service saying "we're definitely seeing more smuggled tobacco products coming through ..." and in February 2009 over 67,937 cigarettes and 20,222.7 grams of tobacco were intercepted by Customs .

"New Zealand retailers are facing some of the toughest business conditions ever experienced and the prospect of having to deal with another round of regulations that could result in an increase in this black market cigarette trade, is not welcomed," said Mr Bull.

NZACS is aware of a Private Members Bill by Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway currently in the Parliamentary Ballot that seeks to ban retailers' ability to show a legal product .

"As in the UK, New Zealand retailers are asking the Government to work with us rather than against us so that we can continue to provide the valuable service we do for our customers," said Mr Bull.

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