Pubs, function venues and other indoor public spaces have been reminded to move or bin their cigarette vending machines ahead of a nationwide ban on October 1st.
One law firm in particular, Poppleston Allen solicitors, has advised publicans and entertainment venues that only one month remains until the law changes.
Venues will no longer be able to sell cigarettes on public display from these machines, but can continue to do so from locations that are obscured from public view – such as from behind the bar.
“[This is] a reminder to operators that there is now exactly a month until it will no longer be possible to situate cigarette vending machines in public ares of your premises,” said Jonathan Smith, managing partner of Poppleston Allen, in a Big Hospitality report.
The law will apply to all venues in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, according to a BBC News story that covered MPs decision to change the law back in October 2009. At the time, anti-smoking campaigners such as The British Heart Foundation were incredibly supportive of the initiative.
“Consigning vending machines to the scrapheap will cut off an easy supply of cigarettes to children,” said its chief executive Peter Hollins. “This policy must be carried out across the UK as soon as possible.”
Furthermore, Smith added that operators in Scotland will also be required to ask all customers who look under the age of 25 for identification if they wish to purchase cigarettes or alcohol.
Although this is not a legal requirement, he strongly advises that all staff are re-trained and made aware of the changes. Point of sale materials may also help efforts, he added.